x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Godolphin wants Saeed bin Suroor to take Mahmoud Al Zarooni's place

But in order for the Emirati trainer to take temporary charge over the Moulton Paddocks Stables, his current horses must pass drug tests that have already been administered by the British Horseracing Authority, Geoffrey Riddle reports.

Godolphin wants Saeed bin Suroor to take temporary charge over the Moulton Paddocks Stables, formerly run by Mahmoud Al Zarooni. Ed Reinke / AP Photo
Godolphin wants Saeed bin Suroor to take temporary charge over the Moulton Paddocks Stables, formerly run by Mahmoud Al Zarooni. Ed Reinke / AP Photo

Godolphin confirmed Thursday their intention to have Saeed bin Suroor take temporary charge over the Moulton Paddocks Stables formerly run by Mahmoud Al Zarooni.

However, in a complication for the Dubai-based organisation, Bin Suroor's application to have his training licence cover a second base in Newmarket was rejected by the British Horseracing Authority.

The BHA are awaiting results to the testing of racehorses both at Moulton Paddocks and at Bin Suroor's yard on the Snailwell Road and the results of those tests could pave the way for Bin Suroor to assume control of around 450 horses at the British racing centre.

"We have informed Saeed bin Suroor and Godolphin that the BHA will not be re-licensing the yard until the test results are known for all the Godolphin-owned horses stabled in Newmarket," said Adam Brickell, the Director of Integrity, Legal and Risk for the BHA.

Moulton Paddocks was closed by Godolphin following the news that 11 horses there tested positive for anabolic steroids last month.

Al Zarooni was found responsible for the administration of the drugs and was banned from British racing for eight years on April 25. Since then, Moulton Paddocks has been an unlicensed premises.

Al Zarooni lodged an appeal against his ban on Tuesday.

Under BHA rules, even if Bin Suroor is granted a licence no horse from the yard can run at a British racecourse for 14 days after approval. It means that Steeler cannot run at York in next week's Dante Stakes, a traditional prep race for the English Derby at Epsom next month.

Simon Crisford, Godolphin's racing manager, has stated that his organisation is in no rush to appoint a new trainer, but Thursday's events highlight that Godolphin are actively looking to replace Al Zarooni.

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