Saeed bin Suroor’s Godolphin team aiming for 2011 Melbourne Cup

Godolphin trainer Saeed bin Suroor has said overnight that he will only be fully satisfied once he wins the Melbourne Cup, as a couple of potential candidates emerged for the 2011 Melbourne Cup.

In another sign that the Melbourne Cup is truly a global race, bin Suroor told Dubai paper GulfNews that one of his major goals was to win Australia’s greatest race.

“I still want to win the Melbourne Cup, the Kentucky Derby and the Breeders’ Cup Classic,” he told the GulfNews.

“Only then will I be fully satisfied.”

“Godolphin’s goal has long been to win every major race in the world and we will never stop trying.”

In terms of the Melbourne Cup, a lowly race in Dubai last night could potentially have produced three Godolphin chances – but only two of whom are trained by Saeed bin Suroor.

The Wheels Trophy over 2800m has become an increasingly noted race within Australia.

Click this link to watch a replay.

Used by Godolphin in the past to assess their chances in Britain’s major Cups – like the Goodwood Cup, Lonsdale Cup and Yorkshire Cup – it is now being used increasingly to test a horse’s Melbourne Cup chances.

It was a Godolphin trifecta, with Whispering Gallery defeating Opinion Poll by three quarters of a length.

The inconsistent Age of Reason was third, while last year’s Melbourne Cup aspirant Drunken Sailor, who narrowly missed making the Cup field, was fourth.

In particular, Whispering Gallery (trained by bin Suroor) and Opinion Poll (trained by Mahmood Al Zarooni) look ideal Melbourne Cup types.

Both enjoy firm surfaces, both have a turn of foot and both look like they will run the 3200m right out.

Whispering Gallery made it six wins from 12 starts with his good victory.

He has early pace which allows him to position handy and can sprint off a slow pace, both of which are ideal under Australian racing conditions.

Opinion Poll settles further back in the field, but can unleash a turn of foot not usually seen in British horses.

He was a good winner of the Group 2 Lonsdale Cup (3200m) last season, in which Melbourne Cup runner Illustrious Blue ran 5th.

A number of horses have come through the Dubai carnival to take part in the Melbourne Cup in recent times, including placegetters Give the Slip, Crime Scene and Mourilyan.

It may be over nine months away, but don’t forget to take note of Whispering Gallery and Opinion Poll when assessing the Melbourne Cup later this year.

Written by Andrew Hawkins

27 Jan 2011

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