It’s unlikely many people will have heard of a famous policeman called Saeed bin Suroor. As a trainer, however, he has become a household name and a household face.
Having grown up with horses as a child, he began training while still in the Dubai Police Force and did well enough to catch the eye of Godolphin founder Sheikh Mohammed, who sent him 30 horses in 1992. It was the start of a long and fruitful association.
Bin Suroor was offered the Godolphin trainer’s job in 1995. He repaid that faith with a phenomenal first season, training Lammtarra to victory in the Derby, the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Diamond Stakes and the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe. That same year also brought Classic triumphs in the Oaks, with Moonshell, and the St Leger, with Classic Cliché.
His full set of Classics was completed in 1998, when Cape Verdi scooped the 1000 Guineas. Bin Suroor has won the trainers’ championship four times – in 1996, 1998, 1999 and 2004. He has also won the Dubai World Cup, the world’s richest race, six times.
When Mahmood Al Zarooni started training for Godolphin, Bin Suroor no longer had a monopoly on Sheikh Mohammed’s horses and, indeed, was somewhat put in the shade by his fellow trainer in 2011 when Al Zarooni enjoyed by far the better season. Al Zarooni was subsequently banned for steroid use and replaced with Charlie Appleby.
Bin Suroor bounced back in 2012, saddling Colour Vision to take the Gold Cup at Royal Ascot, race two in the QIPCO British Champions Series Long Distance category, while the progressive Farhh was twice placed at Group 1 level that year.
With Frankel retired, Farhh wasted no time in sealing his first QIPCO British Champions Series success in the 2013 JLT Lockinge Stakes at Newbury, Bin Suroor’s second Series success, and he followed that with Ahzeemah’s triumph in the Weatherbys Hamilton Insurance Lonsdale Cup at York.
He hit the heights on QIPCO British Champions Day, saddling Farhh to win the QIPCO Champion Stakes after the horse had been injured following his JLT Lockinge Stakes triumph – a brilliant training performance from the Godolphin handler.
His first Series triumph in 2014 came in the Artemis Goodwood Cup when he saddled the one-two, Cavalryman and Ahzeemah, separated by just a neck.
Bin Suroor failed to chalk up a QIPCO British Champions Series success in 2015 but did bag another Dubai World Cup triumph with Prince Bishop.