Heavily favored Mendip took the lead at the top of the stretch and was never challenged, sailing home for an easy victory in the Al Maktoum Challenge-Round I Sponsored by Longines (UAE-III) at Meydan Race Course Jan. 13.
Ridden confidently by Frankie Dettori, Mendip raced comfortably in third
as Sea Lord and My Indy led the field of 14 through the early stages of
the eight-furlong contest. Sea Lord continued to hold a one-length
advantage as the field entered the far turn, as Mendip eased into second
over a tiring My Indy.
As the field entered the home straight, Dettori asked Mendip for more
and the response was immediate, as the 4-year-old colt shot to the front
and opened up several lengths on the rest of the field. Mendip
continued to draw off through the stretch while being geared down,
eventually crossing the wire 2 1/4 lengths in front.
South African-bred Imbongi, who captured the 2010 Zabeel Mile (UAE-IIT),
closed strongly for second, with Win For Sure finishing another
quarter-length back in third.