Surfer and Richard Mullen cross the line in frontPICTURE: Dubai Racing Club/Andrew Watkins
Smooth Surfer digs deep for another dirt win
Report: UAE, Thursday
Meydan: Al Maktoum Challenge (Group 2) 3yo+ (dirt)
SURFER dug deep to win again on the dirt, taking the first round of the Al Maktoum Challenge under Richard Mullen, more than two lengths ahead of Frankyfourfingers.
The six-year-old, trained by Satish Seemar, pulled clear in the closing stages of the Group 2 mile race to follow up his course and distance win in December and add £96,153.85 to his earnings.
It was a much more convincing performance for the chestnut, sent off from stall one at 4-1, after he won by just half a length last time having looked uncomfortable being drawn on the inside.
Mashaaref took the early lead under Royston Ffrench but the eventual winner was prominent throughout.
Frankyfourfingers was the only challenger from the final bend, and looked like he might take the win, but the 33-1 shot had to settle for second after being out-paced late on.
Mullen said: "Swinging in I was upsides and didn't think I was going anywhere but he picked up well. He loves this surface and he thoroughly deserves this.
"The dirt is really to his liking. Maybe he'll come back here for round two and then go for the mile race on World Cup night."
Haatheq, under Dane O'Neill, finished three and a half engths behind the winner in third, having started at 25-1.
Charlie Appleby's Outstrip, who had looked the class act of the 15 runners despite a run of poor form, was nowhere to be seen. The 3-1 favourite did not look to warm to the new surface, and never never made an impression.