Mendip conquers Challenge

Dubal sponsored Thursday evening`s ninth meeting of the 2012 Dubai World Cup Carnival which was dominated by the Godolphin trainers, with Saeed Bin Suroor saddling no less than three winners, including Mendip who bounced back to winning ways in the Group 2 Al Maktoum Challenge Round II, the 1900m all-weather feature.

Winner of opening round of the Al Maktoum Challenge, he was only fourth in that 1600m contest this year but looked a different horse this time with Kieren Fallon steering him to a smooth success in the colours of His Excellency Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai.

Fallon said: "He is a nice horse whose form on [the all-weather] is very good. He probably needed that first run and this was a big effort this evening."

The same trainer`s Sandagiyr won the preceding Group 3 Firebreak Stakes, over 1600m on the all-weather with Silvestre De Sousa the man in the saddle. It was the four-year-old’s first start on a synthetic surface and he clearly relished it to the delight of De Sousa who said: "It looked a hot race on paper so it was a big effort to beat some good horses. I am enjoying this opportunity with the Godolphin team and am very grateful for the chance."

His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minster of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai was present to see the Mahmoud Al Zarooni-trained Kinglet win the UAE 2000 Guineas, also over 1600m on the all-weather, with Mickael Barzalona in the saddle, as he had been on the same trainer`s Splash Point who won this race last year.

Gamilati won the UAE 1000 Guineas for Al Zarooni last week and the trainer said: "It is obviously great to complete the Guineas double and Mickael gave him a very good ride."

Barzalona had earlier won the 2200m Dubal Casthouse Trophy handicap on the Bin Suroor-trained, Spring Of Fame, while De Sousa initiated his own double when partnering stable companion Songcraft to defend an unbeaten record in the 2435m turf Dubal Potlines Trophy handicap. Songcraft has now won all four of his career starts but had to fight hard to deny Frankie Dettori on Laajooj with the pair leading literally in the last strides.

Racing opened with the Group 1 Purebred Arabian version of the Al Maktoum Challenge Round II and first round winner Sahib Du Clos completed a notable double in the 2200m all-weather contest.

Trained by Saifaldin Deeb, he was winning a third Group 1 of the season with Richard Mullen in the saddle on this occasion and he said: "It was a lovely spare ride and I was pleased to be asked. They told me to go for home early in the straight because he would be hard to pass and, luckily they were right. He is very tough."

South African trainer Mike de Kock endured a few disappointments on the evening with the likes of Bold Silvano and Master Of Hounds beaten but managed a 1-2 in the concluding turf Dubal Trophy handicap.

Christophe Soumillon and Mutahadee won comfortably from stable companion Anaerobio and Soumillon said: "This horse seems to be improving fast and it would be nice to think he could improve enough to be a Dubai Duty Free contender."