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Monday, 3 January 2011

Trainer Profile: Mahmood Al Zarooni

The New Boy in BlueFor many years Saeed Bin Suroor has been the sole trainer for Sheikh Mohammed in Great Brittain but that changed in 2010 with the promotion of his assistant trainer Mahmood Al Zarooni - effectively splitting the string in two. Racing manager Simon Chrisford said: 'With more two-year-olds coming through the system the time is now right for Godolphin to employ two trainers.'

Al Zarooni had the first of his two-year-old runners start its career in the month of May with a chestnut colt named Pasquino - followed by an additional thirteen debutantes, predominatly ridden by Ahmed Ajebi and Ted Durcan. In total 66 juveniles ran on the turf with the last a bay colt named Circus Act making his race course bow over one mile on heavy ground at Nottingham.

In his first season, Al Zarooni had 191 two-year-old runs featuring 31 wins (16%) with 103 (54%) finishing in the first three on all starts. Win total prize money was just under £225,000 (UK) (and a level stake to £1 of -3.01).

HCE statistics detail a number of interesting points:

  • Debutantes featured a 12% win rate.
  • 45% of all debutantes were priced 13/2 & less.
  • 13% of debutantes won when priced at 13/2 & less.
  • When priced 13/2 & less on their second start two-year-olds attained a 23% win rate and 70% win and place. However, just under 60% of these juveniles were priced 3/1 and less.
Two-year-olds ran at 29 different race courses - the largest numbers at Newmarket and Kempton (A.W).
By race type:
  • 26-143 (18%) Maidens (+15.49)
  • 0-5 (0%) Group 1,2,3 (-5.00)
  • 3-33 (9%) Handicap (-16.00)
  • 5-6f: 7-56 (13%) (-24.17)
  • 7f-1m: 24-130 (18%) (+26.16)
Jockey bookings:
  • Ahmed Ajtebi 16-98 (16%) (-3.09)
  • Frankie Dettori 6-16 (38%) (+2.08)
  • Antioco Murgia 5-24 (21%) (+25.00)
  • Ted Durcan 1-13 (8%) (-6.50)
  • Tadhg O'Shea 2-6 (33%) (+8.50)
  • Royston Ffrench 1-12 (8%) (-7.00)
It is quite common for Al Zarooni to have second and third string in two-year-olds in the same event and they often lead to surprise winners.
The star juvenile for the stable in 2010 was Biondetti (USA) a bay colt by Bernardini out of Lyphard's Delta ($350,00) and won total prize money of over £200,000. A highlight winning the Premio Gran Criterium (Group 1) at San Siro, Italy then finishing fourth in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile (Grade 1) at Churchill Downs, America.
With the backing of Godolphin and a successful campaigne under his belt, Mahmood Al Zarooni is likley to start the new Flat season with an added confidence and certainly many winners will come his way.