Surfer Finally Catches Winning Wave

The High-Rated Maiden Records Easy Victory From Gate 13.

The 106-rated Surfer finally is no longer the highest-rated maiden in training in Dubai after finally claiming his first race at Meydan Racecourse last night.

Sheikh Rashid was present to witness his runner, who bears the yellow colours of his Zabeel Racing International, shed the maiden tag and justify Pick 6 favouritism in the opening 1,600m maiden under a confident Richard Mullen.

Settled just off the early pace, by jockey, Richard Mullen, Surfer made smooth progress to lead 400m out and was never going to be caught.

"That is a big relief for all of us as it is always a worry when a horse is expected to win but he did it nicely. He ran some great races last season and will go to the Dubai World Cup Carnival on a high,” said Satish Seemar who trains Surfer.

Runner-up in last season`s Listed Al Bastakiya, as well as an excellent fourth in the UAE 2000 Guineas, Surfer was, appropriately, on a card sponsored by Commercial Bank of Dubai, most people`s banker in their Pick 6.

The official feature was a 1,600m handicap and Pat Dobbs jumped Famous Warrior out in front and the pair stayed there, leading every yard of the way to the delight of trainer, Doug Watson who said: “We were very hopeful of a big run as he has come down the weights and was well drawn for a horse who likes to race prominently. That was a great ride from Pat and hopefully this is one of our Dubai World Cup Carnival horses.”

Watson later saddled a 1-2-3 in the concluding 1,900m handicap with Harry Bentley on the winner, Profondo Rosso who led home stable companions, Karma Chameleon and Masaalek.

“I knew we had three good chances but that is a real bonus for the whole team. The winner was always going best and did it well.”

Ganas, trained by Ernst Oertel for H E Sheikh Sultan bin Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, was another who made virtually every yard of the running in the 1,200m handicap with Tadhg O`Shea keen to get to the front when the gates opened. The pair shot clear about 400m out and they were always in command from there on.

O`Shea said: “That was always the plan and he has a lot of speed this horse. We were only just caught at Jebel Ali on his first start locally but I was always happy we were holding on this time.

“He needed that first run I think and the yard are going well.”

The other 1,600m handicap was won with a withering late run by James Doyle on Trojan Nights for trainer Musabah Al Muhairi. Well in rear as the runners turned for home, Doyle turned his challenge perfectly and said: “There was plenty of early speed so I was happy to take my time as I knew he would finish well. Luckily we got there just in time.”

Carlos Sanchez and Abdulla bin Huzaim combined to win the 1,400m handicap with Count Paris and the jockey said: “He did it nicely and I was always happy throughout the race.”