Saeed Bin Suroor: Masar's Classic success was good for Godolphin as a team
Saeed Bin Suroor has heralded Masar's Investec Derby win last weekend as "good for Godolphin as a team".
Giving his first reaction to the historic win, Godolphin's senior trainer was one of the first to contact his counterpart Charlie Appleby after Masar and William Buick recorded a first Derby success in the all-blue colours on Saturday.
Bin Suroor, who did not have a runner in either of the Epsom Classics this year but won the Derby with Lammtarra in 1995, said: "Saturday was a massive achievement by Charlie and I'm very happy for him. I called him and later met him after the race to congratulate him and he deserves it as he works hard. I was also very happy for Sheikh Mohammed."
He added: "I won the Derby myself 23 years ago and it's the best mile-and-a-half race in the world and the hardest to win. We've tried so many times since, but with no luck."
Bin Suroor, who trained Masar's dam Khawlah to win the UAE Derby and Oaks in 2011, added: "This is good for Godolphin as a team. This victory has been a long time coming and I hope Masar can continue to win big races throughout the season, both here and internationally."
Bin Suroor is hoping to keep the blue flag flying at Royal Ascot when he aims to hit the ground running with Dubai Turf winner Benbatl in the Group 1 Queen Anne Stakes. The four-year-old is generally 6-1 second favourite for the curtain-raiser, a contest his trainer has won seven times previously.
Bin Suroor said: "He won the Dubai Turf well in March, since when we've given him a break, and he's come back well in his work lately. He'll have two more pieces of work and will be ready to go. We'll face the best horses in Europe as the Queen Anne is a tough race to win. He's dropping back in trip from nine furlongs ,but the stiff mile should be fine for him."
When he goes to post on Tuesday week, Benbatl is set to have a new jockey as his regular partner Oisin Murphy is likely to be claimed to ride Lightning Spear for his sponsor Qatar Racing. Not surprisingly, Bin Suroor already has a high-calibre substitute lined up.
He said: "Christophe Soumillon will ride Benbatl if Oisin is not available. Sheikh Mohammed presented him with the world champion jockey award in Dubai in March, when he also rode Thunder Snow to land the Dubai World Cup for us."
Unlike last year, when it was well documented his juveniles were not up to scratch, Bin Suroor is hoping to be represented in the juvenile contests this time around.
He said: "I'm pleased with the two-year-olds this year, they are a better quality and they are fine as regards soundness. We didn't have a two-year-old to run at the meeting last year but we hope to run Dubai Legacy and Burj, both recent winners, in the Group 2 Coventry Stakes."
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