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Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 17 December 2018

Godolphin look to Winter Lightning and Expressiy to maintain success at Dubai World Cup Carnival

Both compete in the Group 3 UAE Oaks on Thursday at Meydan.

Winter Lightning is in action in the Group 3 UAE Oaks on Thursday. Pawan Singh / The National.
Winter Lightning is in action in the Group 3 UAE Oaks on Thursday. Pawan Singh / The National.

Godolphin have dominated the Dubai World Cup Carnival up to now and they will hope for more of the same at Meydan racecourse on Thursday.

They have racked up 24 Carnival victories out of the 52 races so far in the Carnival and have 16 horses entered in the seven races making up the latest meeting.

Among those competing are Winter Lightning and Expressiy in the Group 3 UAE Oaks, the feature race of the night.

The Saeed bin Suroor-trained Winter Lightning was a winner of the UAE 1,000 Guineas three weeks ago and she is joined by Charlie Appleby’s Expressiy.

The pair are bidding for Godolphin’s 12th Oaks title since the race was launched in 2001.

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“Expressiy has progressed with each run in Dubai and the step up in trip is going to suit her,” Appleby told Godolphin's website.

“We feel that she has done well since she ran in the UAE 1,000 Guineas and she should be closer to the two fillies [Winter Lightning and Rayya] that beat her.”

Winter Lightning has gone from strength to strength in her two local starts. She edged out Rayya by a nose in the UAE 1000 Guineas Trial and was two lengths in front of her rival three weeks later.

The 1,900m race has drawn only six runners and the Doug Watson-trained Rayya seems the one again to provide the challenge for the Godolphin pair.

Godolphin have three entered in the Group 3 Nad Al Sheba Trophy. Saeed Bin Suroor has a pair entered, Natural Scenery and Red Galileo, while Appleby’s Rare Rhythm, winner of his last two starts in England, makes his local debut.

“Red Galileo ran well last time and I am hoping for another good run from him, although it will very tough to beat a horse like Vazirabad,” Bin Suroor said.

“Natural Scenery was a little disappointing on her latest start, but came out of that race well and is ready to go. I am looking for a better performance from her this time.”

Vazirabad, trained in France by Alain De Royer-Dupre, is taking a similar path that won him the Dubai Gold Cup. The six-year-old gelding was runner up in this race last year before successful on the Dubai World Cup meeting last year.

Godolphin are double handed in the Listed Meydan Classic. Appleby saddles Zaman while Bin Suroor has Racing Country, who was tailed off in the UAE 2000 Guineas last month.

“Zaman has come forward since his second in the trial for this race (17 February) and he will appreciate racing over a mile, while he also has a better draw in stall three this time,” said Appleby.

Bin Suroor added: “Racing Country has been disappointing so far out in Dubai and hasn’t been showing a lot on the racecourse this year. We are giving him a final chance at the Carnival and I hope he can run a better race.”