Patience is key in the world of horse racing and a correct understanding means that success will come to those who are prepared to wait – jockey or trainer.
Champion Emirati handler Saeed bin Suroor has always displayed an ability to put personal ambitions on hold and grab the opportunity when it presents itself as it did at Newmarket, England on Sunday when saddling the Mawj to victory in an epic renewal of the 1,000 Guineas.
A two-race winner at Dubai’s Meydan Racecourse during the Dubai World Cup Carnival, the daughter of Exceed And Excel lived up to her sire’s name when she out-battled the favourite Tahiyra to secure a long-awaited third victory in the iconic race.
Bin Suroor, who has won 12 British Classics between 1995 and 2009 finally ended a 14-year wait for a 13th success which came with the help of two-time champion jockey Oisin Murphy.
Murphy exhibited his exemplary riding skills to outduel Chris Hayes aboard Tahiyra following a monumental battle up the famous Newmarket home straight to score by half a length.
Bin Suroor, who Murphy described as a great trainer, outlined the plan that had been put in place leading to Mawj’s pivotal victory for Godolphin, the stable created by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.
“I think this is Group One number 195 (for me) around the world,” the trainer told Racing TV UK displaying a rarely-seen swagger. “We will sometimes have luck like Mawj today.
“She is a tiny filly, but she has a big heart. She is a Group Two winner here and unbeaten in Dubai.
“I spoke to Sheikh Mohammed before we ran her in Dubai over a mile. We tried her over a mile and she did well out in Dubai. I talked to Sheikh Mohammed before we declared her (for the Guineas) and it was a great decision from him, and the filly won well – we’re happy with her.”
Bin Suroor also used the opportunity to highlight the teamwork that goes on behind the scenes at the powerful Dubai-owned stable which has historic stables in Newmarket.
“Me and (fellow Godolphin trainer) Charlie (Appleby) are a good team and he was with me for a long time before becoming the best trainer now,” said Bin Suroor. “We’re good friends and have the best horses in the country, maybe even the world, in our stables."
With regards to what the future holds in store for Mawj, who only arrived in the UK from Dubai just two weeks earlier, Bin Suroor said: “We will keep our options open and see how she comes out of the race. She’s entered in French Guineas (May 14) but that is probably too close to this race, but she is also in the Irish Guineas (May 28) so we will talk to Sheikh Mohammed and will make a decision after a week.”
Bin Suroor’s previous success in the 1,000 Guineas came with Cape Verdi (1998) and Kazzia (2002).
Meanwhile, Murphy, who has enjoyed a special relationship with Bin Suroor over the years, commented: “I was second in the race yesterday (2000 Guineas) and to win this is unbelievable. Thank you to the trainer and his staff, they did all the hard work.
“The sun is beating down, there are lots of people here and she walked around like she was half asleep. But when I got on her back I started to believe it could happen.
“It really was a very good training performance because she hasn’t run in nearly three months and I got a huge buzz out of that. These are such important races.”
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