x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 29 July 2017

Plane sailing for bin Suroor

Emerald Commander claimed victory in the Group 2 77th Darley-Oettingen-Rennen over a mile in Germany.

Frankie Dettori, left, and Saeed bin Suroor, seen here at Royal Ascot, teamed up to record wins in successive days for Godolphin.
Frankie Dettori, left, and Saeed bin Suroor, seen here at Royal Ascot, teamed up to record wins in successive days for Godolphin.

Saeed bin Suroor's globe trotting paid dividends yesterday when Emerald Commander claimed victory in the Group 2 77th Darley-Oettingen-Rennen over a mile in Germany yesterday. The Godolphin trainer was in England on Monday to watch Prince Siegfried enjoy a confidence-boosting victory in the feature 10-furlong conditions race at Epsom. He was in Baden-Baden yesterday to see Frankie Dettori pilot Emerald Commander, the three-year-old Pivotal colt, to a comfortable two-and-a-half length victory over Earl Of Fire in a time of 1min 39.54secs on the soft turf.

Next stop for bin Suroor will be America to see Vineyard Haven run in a Grade 1 race at Saratoga. The trainer, born in Dubai, will head to the US in buoyant mood after seeing Emerald Commander perform so well. "He ran very well and had his favourite conditions - he came to Germany in very good form and he enjoyed racing on the soft going," said bin Suroor. "He has won a Group 2 now and we will have to look for a Group 1 contest somewhere in Europe."

The three-year-old broke smartly and initially raced in second before being taken back to settle in fourth after the first quarter-mile. He was switched out and took closer order with half-a-mile to race, staying on strongly to take the lead near the stands' rail as the nine-strong field entered the straight. Emerald Commander went clear of his rivals inside the final furlong and Dettori was able to ease down near the line as the pair recorded a comfortable win. The Pivotal colt had disappointed on his recent outing over 10 furlongs at Maisons-Laffitte but was always travelling strongly on this return to a mile.

Bin Suroor, meanwhile, refused to get carried away by Prince Siegfried's performance on Monday. "He is better than he was before, mentally," he said. "He ran away with Daragh O'Donohoe one time on the way to the start, but he's learning. "He liked the track, while our other runner Layali Al Andalus [last of the five] hated it. "There are no plans. He needs confidence so we'll just find him another race."

* Agencies