Australia: Bin Suroor turns to local riders for Cup pair

Saeed bin Suroor

Saeed Bin Suroor: Has been using a variety of riders in recent weeks

  PICTURE: Edward Whitaker (  

 By David Baxter 9:02AM 28 OCT 2016 

Australia: Saeed Bin Suroor has decided to use local knowledge for Tuesday’s Melbourne Cup, booking a pair of Australian riders for his  runners.

The Godolphin trainer has two chances for the Melbourne Cup, Beautiful Romance and Secret Number, and they will be partnered by Damian Lane and Stephen Baster respectively.

Bin Suroor’s desire to win a Melbourne Cup is well-documented, and he said: “It would be great to win, this is the best two-mile race in the world and we have tried many, many times. We’re hopeful for a good result.”

For Secret Number, this has been a plan almost a year in the making, after he finished second behind Dandino in the Group 3 Queen’s Cup at Flemington last November.

Rain would help duo

The six-year-old, gelded since then, has only had one start between then and now, winning a Listed contest at Ayr in September with Bin Suroor keen to bring him to Australia off the back of a lengthy break.

“After Secret Number ran here last year, we thought he would be the right type of horse to bring back after a break and he is a stronger and older horse now,” the trainer said. “He always tries hard and this trip is no problem for him.

“He has done really well since his gelding. He is more relaxed and focused on his work and he is definitely [in a better place] than last year.”

Beautiful Romance meanwhile, claimed the Middleton Stakes at York earlier this year and Bin Suroor is confident the filly has the attributes required to win a Melbourne Cup. 

“The filly is a Group 2 winner and we thought she was also a good horse because he has plenty of stamina and speed,” he said. “If there was any rain, it would be good for both of them.”

Appleby riding plans

Charlie Appleby has enjoyed a profitable spring carnival, and is trying to land a late berth in the race with Oceanographer, who runs in Saturday’s Lexus Stakes.

Kerrin McEvoy will ride the Geelong Cup third, who finished behind stablemate Qewy. Appleby on Friday confirmed the last-named will also line up for Godolphin in the Melbourne Cup, and will be ridden by Craig Williams.

Should Oceanographer also make the cut, Chad Schofield has been booked.

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