02/09/2012 2:21PM

Mendip's win in Round 2 Maktoum Challenge caps four-win night for trainer bin Suroor


Mendip capped a blockbuster Thursday night at Meydan for trainer Saeed bin Suroor, giving the Dubai native four wins from six Thoroughbred races on the program with a 1 1/4-length victory in Round 2 of the Maktoum Challenge.

Ridden to victory by Kieren Fallon, Mendip raced 10th of 11 during the early portion of the Group 2, $250,000 race, launching his winning move on the far turn about three furlongs from the finish. Mendip made steady progress racing wide into the home straight and continued on resolutely to score a fairly convincing victory over longshot Haatheq.

The favored Master of Hounds raced one-paced through the stretch, edging Biondetti for third. Winning time for the 1 3/16-mile Tapeta race was a solid 1:56.42.

Mendip, a 5-year-old American-bred by Harlan’s Holiday, has done all his best work at Meydan, scoring five of his six career wins there. Fourth in Round 1 of the Maktoum Challenge, Mendip has historically seemed a notch below Group 1 material, and his win coupled with front-running Haatheq’s runner-up finish hints that Thursday’s feature might not have been a telling trial for the $10 million Dubai World Cup next month. Master of Hounds’s performance was somewhat lackluster, though he did race much closer to the early pace than he had when a better closing second to stablemate Musir in the Maktoum Challenge Round 1.

Master of Hounds’s loss wasn’t the most disappointing run from a Mike de Kock-trained starter Thursday, since in the race before, long-layoff comebacker Bold Silvano could do no better than fifth while heavily favored in the Group 3 Firebreak Stakes, a one-mile Tapeta race. Bold Silvano, a Group 1 winner in South Africa, raced in mid-pack and never really accelerated, going evenly through the stretch as the bin Suroor-trained Sandagiyr won by a neck with a solid stretch run.

Bin Suroor also won the Dubai Potlines Trophy, a turf race over about 1 1/2 miles, with Songcraft, who nipped another Godolphin-owned runner, Laajooj, in a desperate finish. Lajooj’s trainer, Mahmood al Zarooni, had found success earlier on the card with Kinglet, a neck winner over Mickdaam in the $250,000 UAE 2000 Guineas.