Saeed bin Suroor is going to have his hands full for the next month or two. Yesterday Godolphin announced that he is to take temporary charge of the Moulton Paddocks stable formerly run by Mahmood Al Zarooni.
There are around 200 horses at Moulton Paddocks, so the additional duties will represent a substantial increase in work load for Godolphin’s longest serving trainer. Bin Suroor has worked for Godolphin since 1995, and it will be to his advantage that he spent 15 of those years at Moulton Paddocks, so knows the set up there inside out.
He said, “The idea is that I will keep the place ticking over for a short time until Godolphin find another trainer. It is going to keep me busy, but I know the stable – I was there before moving to Stanley House – so it isn’t going to be new to me.”
It will help him that, in a disappointment to Godolphin, he won’t have any runners from his new charges for the time being. The British Horseracing Authority confirmed that although they have received an application for Moulton Paddocks to be added temporarily to bin Suroor’s licence, that won’t be approved just yet. BHA head of integrity, legal and risk, Adam Brickell explained why. He said, “We have informed Saeed bin Suroor and Godolphin that the BHA will not be relicensing the yard until the test results are known for all the Godolphin-owned horses stabled in Newmarket.”
Now it’s already a fortnight since Al Zarooni was stood down, and the test results are not expected through for another week or so. The BHA explained that the rules of racing prevent any runners from the yard for 14 days once it is relicensed. In theory, then, it could be that the horses re-appear at Epsom’s Derby meeting, although we can be sure there will no be any entries in either the Derby or Oaks.
Longer term, Godolphin are not in a great hurry to find a replacement for the disgraced Al Zarooni, although spokesman Simon Crisford said that they expected to do so before the end of the season.