DUBAI // Saeed bin Suroor, the Emirati trainer, recorded his 100th Carnival win last night when Lost in the Moment claimed victory in the Aquarius Trophy.
And the Dubai-born trainer, who was appointed to the Godolphin stable in 1995, made it a quick back-to-back double when he followed up victory in the third race of the night by saddling Whispering Gallery, the horse that won him the first Carnival race at Meydan Racecourse, to glory in the Wheels Trophy.
But it was Lost in the Moment's win by half a length that will have been sweetest for bin Suroor. Riding in the colours of Sheikh Majid bin Mohammed, the four-year-old was piloted to success by Mickael Barzalona, the young French jockey who finished ahead of the Mahmoud al Zarooni-trained Prizefighting.
Zarooni also played second fiddle to bin Suroor in the fourth race of the night when Whispering Gallery, ridden by Ted Durcan, flashed past the post in the 2,810m turf handicap ahead of Opinion Poll, ridden by Ahmed Ajtebi.
Age of Reason, piloted by Frankie Dettori, finished third for bin Suroor in the same race. "I am very happy," said bin Suroor. "It's a great thing for me and for Godolphin."
Bin Suroor's celebration was rather muted and that was no surprise given that his impressive list of wins includes victories in the Epsom Derby, Ascot's King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Diamond Stakes and the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe.
The Emirati handler also has plenty of landmarks to his name, having saddled Godolphin's 100th Grade or Group One victory when Sulamani won the Arlington Million in 2003 and recording Godolphin's 1,000th British winner when Khawlah landed a fillies' maiden at Newmarket in September. He also has the distinction of training a record five Dubai World Cup winners.
One of those, Dubai Millennium in 2000, bin Suroor cites as his favourite Dubai win.
"I have won a lot of races but there are still many things I would like to achieve," bin Suroor said.
"There is the Melbourne Cup, the Kentucky Derby and the Breeder's Cup Classic that I would still like to win."
Barzalona, the 19-year-old French jockey, has been riding out in the mornings for Godolphin and he was delighted last night to ride al Zarooni's City Style to victory in the opening 1600m race, as well as Lost in the Moment in the third.
It was also a good night for the UK trainer Luca Cumani, whose quirky runner, Presvis, smashed the course record to claim an almost five-length victory in the featured Group 2 Al Rashidiya over 1800m.
The Dubai Duty Free contender, who disappointed in Dubai last season, seemed back to his imperious best. He was aided by a dream ride by Ryan Moore who also put in an admirable performance when winning the previous race on the Herman Brown-trained Bronze Cannon.
"I was worried he might be a bit rusty," said Cumani, of the four-time Carnival winner, who could nevertheless ran unplaced in last year's Dubai Duty Free.
"He hasn't had a race for nine months, but he loves Dubai and he did that very well indeed."