A 'TRIAL and error' approach paid dividends for Bendigo trainer Shane Fliedner with Surin Beach on the Pakenham synthetic on Friday.
The three-year-old gelding made it back-to-back victories for the first time in his career with a surprise 1600m win in a benchmark 64 handicap.
Despite a well-deserved benchmark 58 win on his home track in mid-May, Surin Beach was largely unwanted in betting and paid $22.50.
But ridden quietly by Damien Thornton after being slow to get going, the son of Excelebration had too much in reserve for his rivals, showing a liking for the synthetic surface by recording a handy victory ahead of Gracias Amigo and Heljami.
Untried on the synthetic before Friday, Fliedner conceded he gave Surin Beach little hope after he was positioned three-wide for much of the trip and five to six-wide approaching the home straight.
"We were just trying him on the synthetic today because he doesn't really like soft tracks," he said.
"He's a difficult horse, he wants riding quiet - he generally gets into too much trouble.
"I have got to say, I thought he's murdered this, but (Thornton) does know the horse pretty good.
"I think the track suited what happened today, they seemed to be better out wide and running home.
"Anyhow, he might have a future. You don't mind if they're winning."
Thornton, who has ridden Surin Beach in two of his three career wins from 15 starts and four times in total, was as surprised as anyone the gelding had plenty left in the tank in the final stages.
"He jumped a little slow and he sauntered me forward, but he got sucked deep midfield," he said.
"It was that sort of tempo where it was going to be too much work going forward and you couldn't drag back a point. I was made to look like an idiot
"I was lucky it sort of suited the horse and he was able to keep free-rolling.
"It's probably the first time he's ever had a turn of foot, maybe being ridden that little bit quieter suits him.
"He might get even further - we were lucky to get away with it today.
"I think he's still a little bit on the up and slightly progressive at the moment, the way he won today.
"It was a good win and he's going to win more."
Surin Beach, who is part-owned by Fliedner, boosted his career earnings to $68,325 and delivered the astute trainer his 10th win of the season from 72 starters.
Two of those wins have been in metropolitan grade.
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