Saeed bin Suroor's Hunter's Light showed a smart change of gear to claim round two of the Al Maktoum Challenge at Meydan under Silvestre de Sousa.
The Group Two attracted a top quality field, with former Andre Fabre inmate Saint Baudolino making his debut for Mahmood Al Zarooni. Await The Dawn was another fascinating participant, a former winner of the Hardwicke Stakes for Aidan O'Brien, but now trained by South African maestro Mike de Kock.
While that pair were held up, 7-2 shot Hunter's Light was never far off the pace in the extended nine-furlong contest and quickened up to go by Surfer in the straight and win decisively. Another Godolphin runner, Prince Bishop, picked up minor honours in third, with Saint Baudolino doing all his best work at the finish in fourth.
De Sousa said: "Saeed brought the horse here in great form and I'm pleased he came out and won. He gave me my first Group One winner in Europe (in Italy in November) and I was delighted to keep the ride. He seems to be getting better and better. He had a blow out there and should improve again."
Bin Suroor added: "He improved last year to win the Group One in Italy and with time he has improved physically. He has handled the Tapeta, he has shown class and he faced better horses tonight. Sheikh Mohammed will decide the plan."
The main supporting race was the UAE 1000 Guineas, with the finish dominated by Godolphin-owned runners. Al Zarooni's trial winner Music Chart was the leading fancy, but she could not pick up off a slow pace and had to make do with third behind stablemate Lovely Pass (7-1) Bin Suroor's Shuruq split the pair in second.
Winning jockey Ahmed Ajtebi said: "She's a nice filly and I rode her at Ascot last year when she won nicely. Today she battled well, she likes the surface and she was in the right race."
Newmarket handler David Simcock was among the winners as Harry Bentley guided 9-2 shot Ottoman Empire to an impressive victory in the GN Focus Handicap.
"He battled all the way and I knew a furlong out he would put the race to bed. He always travels into his races very well," said Bentley.
Elleval struck a blow for the Irish as he showed a brilliant turn of foot to claim the Meydan Classic Trial under Fergal Lynch. David Marnane's gelding was a 12-1 shot on his first start since winning at Dundalk in December and he scythed his way through the pack to get up and beat El Estruendoso.
31 March 2015Mac magic earns Southwell shock
Royale seal of approval for McCoy
Consort possible for Craven
Fry lines up double Fairyhouse raid
Gatsby seeking Tattersalls gold
Merry King to miss Grand National
Moore has Dundalk ride for O'Brien
Vautour still in Fairyhouse picture
Panther plans open before Gold run
Appleby outlines Charming gameplan
Reserves added to Irish National
Punchestown an option for Bolster
Euro could be saved for Ascot
Tullius to go the distance
Bass angling for Rainbow gold
Dreaper an Amigos ally
Maguire ruled out of National
Sirius camp ponder rise in trip
Solar powered up for Classic charge
Guest treads cautiously with Chrome
30 March 2015Noseda sorry for Sloane reaction
Botti aims high with Naadirr
Flemenstar pleases on comeback
Nicholls trims National team
Bolger rates Lucida highly
Angel in the Hunt for Cup honours
Mullins weighs up Aintree options
Hannon readies Classic team
McCoy rules out Punchestown
O'Brien big guns enjoy away day
Hannon aims high with Windshear
McCoy thrills on Ascot farewell
Huge shock in Park Express
Moore to step up Ballydoyle rides
Jacob ripe for Pineau ride
Varian suffers Kingston 'blow'
Aintree on God's radar
29 March 2015Hero makes his mark for O'Meara
Kristale limbers up for York return
Ferof in hunt for Aintree riches
Telescope back in focus
Clouds given National clearance
Chrome given Royal summons
Flemenstar unplaced on return
Dolniya excels in Sheema Classic
Solow gallops to Turf glory
Gabrial just divine in Lincoln
Naadirr strikes to take Trophy
Sole switches on late power
Tullius has to pull out the stops
Romsdal up and running
Panther pounces for Gold
28 March 2015Prince Bishop rules the World
Prince Bishop rules the World
Raven swoops for De Sousa
Hanagan strikes first blow
Stack harbours Lincoln doubts
Odeliz gears up for Park
Mshawish given green light for Turf
Margarson keeps faith in Guest
Havlin has high hopes with Hopkins
Togo lands another for Pakidis
Longsdon and Fehily rule with Law
Coleman picks up ride on Druids
Power out to end Meydan hoodoo
Jack firmly in Trophy hunt
McCoy honoured with Celebration
O'Brien set on Flat resumption
'Rock star' Chrome seeks World fame