Dubai: Long-serving Godolphin handler Saeed Bin Surour’s quest to win a second 2,000 Guineas in 18 years begins at Newmarket on Thursday, with a horse he named Be Ready with one eye on the future.
The son of New Approach has already partially repaid his trainer’s conviction with an impressive three-length victory in a competitive Listed race at Doncaster last September. But now he must reinforce his Classic claims with a strong performance in Thursday’s Group 3 Craven Stakes, a proven prep for the May 3 Guineas.
And it will be no easy task, as Be Ready will have to step up a furlong in trip, and class, as he makes his first start in 216 days. Silvestre de Sousa, who partnered Be Ready at Doncaster, takes the ride again.
Bin Surour, who last won the 2,000 Guineas in 1996 with Mark Of Esteem, said: “Be Ready won his Listed race nicely last year and has done very well over the winter.
“This is a tough race to start off in, but he has been working well and is ready to go. I am looking to see a good run, although he will improve for his first start of the season.”
Earlier in the season, Bin Surour revealed why he had chosen the name Be Ready.
“Right from the start he was one of my favourites,” said the Emirati. “And I wanted him to have a good name. I called him Be Ready because I knew he would be facing some big tasks.”
Be Ready lines up against five others, including unbeaten Group One winner Toormore and Dubai Dewhurst Stakes fourth Anjaal, who represents Shaikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai and Minister of Finance.
8/11 Toormore, 11/4 Be Ready, 12/1 Anjaal, 14/1 The Grey Gatsby, 16/1 Postponed, 20/1 Patentar