The public voices of Godolphin Stable, racing manager Simon Crisford and trainer Saeed bin Suroor, are often quite conservative and to the lay observer, empty. Most journalists who fail to follow the daily dialogue coming from these two soft-spoken men could easily believe they heard nothing informative. For our mutual benefit, I do not consider myself amongst the category of: “most journalists.”
Throughout the course of the week leading up to Saturday’s Kentucky Derby (G1), Saeed bin Suroor has been regularly quoted by the Kentucky Derby notes team, a collection of racing journalists and professionals assigned to follow the connections of the race’s probables. Here are some of the comments made by Suroor throughout the week, all referring to his Derby charges, Regal Ransom and Desert Party:
“They’re in good form. Happy. Sound. Healthy. No problem at all with them.”
“When they were in Dubai they improved all the time, but since the last race they look much better than ever.”
“We come here with some confidence. We’re looking to see our horses run a big race.”
“We tried coming from Dubai four times. Now, I think we have better horses than what we saw in Dubai.”
“We’re trying this year and it looks to me that our horses are doing much, much better than ever.”
“They are going into this race 110 percent fit. There is no excuse afterwards for fitness. I hope no excuses happen in the race.”
These are just a selection – but, you get the point.
For the person who doesn’t normally follow the comments made by the voices of Godolphin, these remarks seem, well, unremarkable. Such a person would be wrong. The comments throughout the week have been shockingly confident, almost, supremely confident.
Take that last quote above once again…“They are going into this race 110 percent fit. There is no excuse afterwards for fitness. I hope no excuses happen in the race.”
For the uninitiated – that can be interpreted as…
“My horses are awesome. I really couldn’t be happier. Regal Ransom and Desert Party make the other horses we brought here before look like $2,500 claimers at Manor Downs, and considering we were never worse than ninth, that’s saying something. We came here early for a reason – to make sure the horses acclimated well over this track, and boy, have they ever. Outside of that, they have surprised me at how much they are loving the atmosphere here. They are doing so well, I don’t know which one is going to win, but unless they run into some crazy trip, one of them will win, they could easily go first and second, too. I’ll see you in the winner’s circle.”