The horse entrusted with the opportunity is Farhh, the stable’s top earner of last year, despite winning only one race, the Thirsk Hunt Cup. That, of course, is not where the money came from. Farhh picked up close on half a million pounds for a string of second place finishes behind the likes of Nathaniel, Frankel and Moonlight Cloud in the top 7 – 10 furlong races of 2012.
Following those races, Farhh went under the knife to remove a small chip in his ankle, and bin Suroor is hopeful that won’t affect his ability. He said, “He had small surgery to get the chip out and spent the winter in England. He has been working really nicely and I hope he improves this year. We will start at a mile but I believe a mile and a quarter will be better for him. If he is alright we will take him to Ascot for the Princes of Wales’ Stakes.”
Speaking of his slow start, which to some extent must have been affected by the shenanigans with former Godolphin trainer Mahmood al Zarooni, bin Suroor said, “To win this race is very important to us, to start this year with a big winner. So far most of the horses we have run have not been good enough to win. This race is very important to us – we have won it four times in the past and it would be very good to see out horse win the race.”
The jockey entrusted with the task of riding Farhh is Sylvestre de Sousa. It won’t be a brand new partnership, as de Sousa was the successful jockey in a Newmarket handicap at the back end of 2011. But he’ll be hoping bin Suroor’s stable is already off the mark by then, as he is booked for several rides at York’s Dante meeting over the next three days.