One of racing’s oldest alliances is reunited at Meydan on Thursday as Saeed bin Suroor and Frankie Dettori team up on the opening night of the Dubai Carnival.
The duo conquered the racing world in the early days of the Godolphin operation, with the likes of Lammtarra, Daylami, Swain, Fantastic Light and Dubai Millennium taking starring roles.
Dettori split with Sheikh Mohammed’s team in 2012 after 18 years, but following a few seasons in the wilderness, the ever-popular Italian built himself back up to once again be very much the man for the big occasion – and Bin Suroor is hoping to relive the glory days.
In Military March, who was among the favourites for the Derby having finished fourth in the 2000 Guineas before injury curtailed his season, Dettori has been entrusted with the stable’s big hope.
“We are friends, we have been for many years, ever since the start of Godolphin,” said Bin Suroor.
“I’m going to support Frankie with better horses out in Dubai and in the UK when he is free, so I’m looking forward to seeing some good results with him again.
“We had lots of success worldwide. He’s the best jockey in the world and we’d been together for years and years before this and it’s great that it can continue.”
Military March reappears in the Group Two Singspiel Stakes, where he will face a previous Queen Anne winner in Lord Glitters and Ralph Beckett’s smart Kinross.
“He’s obviously coming back off a long break, but since he’s been in Dubai he’s been working really nicely,” said Bin Suroor.
“This is his first race of the year, but we’re looking forward to it – he’s in good condition and good form.
“Of course he’ll improve from the race, he needs it, but so far he’s doing good. He’s happy and fresh in the morning.
“I’m sure Frankie will give him a nice ride and we’ll take it from there.”
Military March has also been given an entry in the Saudi Cup, but has yet to race on a dirt surface.
“We’ll see how he gets on in this before deciding about whether to switch to dirt. He has an entry in the Saudi Cup. We might give him a run on the dirt to give him a chance to prove he can,” said his trainer.
Dubai Icon in the opening seven-furlong handicap, Desert Fire in the Dubai Racing Club Classic, Gifts Of Gold in Round One of the Al Maktoum Challenge and Land Of Legends in the Al Fahidi Fort are Dettori’s other rides for Bin Suroor.
He also teams up with Charlie Hills to ride Equilateral in the closing five-furlong sprint.