Former Godolphin coach Mahmoud Al Zarouni is set to resume his coaching career in the United Arab Emirates with a mission to “clean my name”.
Al Zarouni spent an eight-year doping ban, which he completed in April 2021, and is setting up a public stable at the Sharjah racetrack.
“I applied for my license to the Emirates Racing Authority and they approved it,” he said. I want to go back and show that Mahmoud was not cheating. I want to clean my name.
“I made a big mistake and learned from my mistake. I want to prove that I was clean, I was doing my best to be clean but this mistake happened.”
Al Zarouni, 45, coached three Classic winners during his tenure at one of Sheikh Mohammed’s two Newmarket stables. However, he was kicked out of the sport in disgrace when he was disqualified for eight years by a BHA disciplinary panel after 11 horses in his sponsorship tested positive for the anabolic steroids ethylestranol and stanozolol.
The ban was reciprocated around the world, but Al Zarouni is now free to work again in horse racing, and has formed a partnership with Marwan Abdul Rahman, who was working as an assistant coach in Dubai.
“Marwan talked to me about doing something together,” Al Zarouni said. “When my ban was over and I got my permits from the BHA, we decided we would have a public stable and we would be at the Sharjah Equestrian Club.
Sheikh Abdullah bin Majid [chairman of Sharjah Equestrian and Racing Club] He is one of the founders of the sport of horse racing here and has always been a grateful supporter of all the small coaches and owners. I was one of them during my early days before joining Godolphin. I would like to thank him for his support and hope it will be my second rise from his midst.
He continued, “Sharjah has everything it needs in terms of facilities, so I hope we can do good.” “I hope the owners will support us. I would like to have some international owners, especially the English owners, because I get many letters from them asking me to come to Newmarket. I love and miss Newmarket, but it is difficult to do at the moment.
Al-Zarouni added: “Marwan Horse, has been an assistant coach for about four years. I think we can do good.
“The stable is ready and we have about 20 horses there already. I have been visiting every two or three days but from next month I will be full time. We have to start at the bottom and see where we can get. It won’t be easy.”
As a Godolphin coach, Al Zarooni’s major wins have included 1000 Guineas and Oaks with Blue Bunting in 2011, the Dubai Sheema Classic and Prince of Wales’s Stakes with rebuilds the same year, and the Dubai World Cup in 2012 with Monterosso.
He recorded his latest victory in the Classic with Encke, who in his touchdown on the 2012 St Leger denied Camelot a historic Triple Crown after Coolmore Colt won the 2000 Guineas and Derby.
Al-Zarouni claimed that the use of steroids was for the therapeutic treatment of horses outside of training and not for cheating. In Dubai, the Doping Department was allowed out of competition until May 2013.
“It was a very tough eight years,” he said. I am not saying that I should not have been punished. I should have been punished, but I think eight years was a penalty for killing someone. I thought they would ban me for three years, four years max. So I still feel bitter.
He added, “I’m so happy to be back doing what I love. It’s been a very difficult eight years. Working with horses is like drugs, so being away from them hurts. I’m so happy to be with them again.”
“I am sure it will be a very difficult time to start the coronavirus situation as there is a shortage of Asian riders and I am too heavy to ride. We will start from scratch again and do our best.”
This story has been reprinted with permission from Horse Racing Planet. Find the original and more content Here.
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