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.
1 September 2014Paddy gunning for Chepstow
Athenian has sales date
No hurry for Cape call
Further checks for Condon
Mirza on Abbaye trail
Due set to miss Sprint date
Condon 'stable' after Cork fall
Queen rules supreme for Smith
River eases to debut success
Carla tops it up to four
Atzeni strikes on Cappella
Ocean team want Haydock rain
Big time beckons for Orange
Palmer aims high with Aktabantay
Hills ponders Dutch gameplan
31 August 2014Atzeni strikes on Cappella
Imminent return Likely
Logic on comeback trail
Dan edges closer to Mile high
Keane error costly for Unrequited
Notarfbad makes all in Mildmay
Orange enjoys Big win
Fabre strikes with Fintry
Akta in late Solario swoop
Icon takes starring role
Pearl fires home in Bullet
Shortall suffers injury setback
Tent team consider chasing
30 August 2014Keane error costly for Unrequited
Shepherd's sent to Tower
Time will tell for Charlton
Stack filly Alive to chance
Sansevero sent to Tower
Palmer plots Solario success
Fabre has high hopes for Fintry
Belardo team keen on Champagne
Rigueur targets Chester consolation
Native in hunt for Bullet gains
Arc still target for Taghrooda
29 August 2014Catterick on track for AW start
Twiston-Davies extends Aintree role
NTF launch Newcastle petition
Bangor launches schooling raceday
Glance sights turn to Australia
Elm to swerve Solario
Irish Leger an option for Seismos
Muir outlines Point plans
Maarek team mull sprint options
Eagle in Champion frame
Raydara plan undecided
Gosden raises Kingman trip question