Khawlah and Xin Xu Lin, the Godolphin pick

Dubai, UAE, March 22, 2011 - Godolphin is the phenomenon so good they named their trainers twice. In 1995, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum. Vice President and Prime Minster of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai appointed Saeed bin Suroor as the man to supervise the horses he wintered in Dubai before firing them across the racing globe. The Sheikh’s reward was - among other monstrous achievements – five Dubai World Cup winners under bin Suroor’s tutelage.
Then – almost exactly a year ago – a second trainer was brought in to prepare the swarm of horses in royal blue which have plundered Group or Grade One victories in 12 countries. Mahmoud Al Zarooni hit the ground running in his first season, highlighted by a Group One success for Buzzword and Rewilding’s initial British Group race victory for the trainer.
Now bin Suroor and Al Zarooni are responsible for a battery of 14 runners spread across six races on Saturday’s Dubai World Cup card. But anyone searching for clues at Meydan this week about the Godolphin runners may have thought the morning fog had never lifted. The boys in blue like to prepare away from prying eyes and the string’s conditioning takes place privately at Al Quoz and Marmoom stables respectively.
“Word has come out though about the horses and their prospects on Saturday. [Khawlah] is tough and strong. I am really happy with her and she has a good chance [in the UAE Derby],” says bin Suroor. “Maybe the best chance.
“But I also like my horses in the [Dubai] World Cup. Poet’s Voice is probably a mile horse and Prince Bishop is probably a mile and a half horse, but with a fast race over a mile and a quarter that could be good for him. I like them both.”
Al Zarooni nominates Xin Xu Lin – also in the UAE Derby – as his best shot and is happy his training programme has been completed satisfactorily.
“All my horses did their last serious piece of work on Saturday in the desert and they just cantered today [Monday],” he says. “Now that’s it. They all seem happy and not so fresh because now
it’s near the end of the season.
“I can honestly say that every big race is a special race, but this is something else because it’s not just for me and racing it’s for His Highness and the whole of Dubai. I can’t transfer to you just how will feel if I win a race [on Saturday] but I can tell you I will be happy.”