Saeed bin Suroor
Image reproduced with the kind permission of Newmarket Racecourse

Winter Lightning and Rayya produced a thrilling finish to the UAE 1,000 Guineas Trial at Meydan, with the first-named filly claiming the honours in a photo for Godolphin.

The pair were neck and neck down the straight in the seven-furlong heat, with Rayya having first run, before being headed by Winter Lightning, only to rally again inside the distance.

However, Winter Lightning and Pat Cosgrave eventually prevailed by a nose, with Charlie Appleby’s Expressiy a 10-length third.

Winning trainer Saeed bin Suroor said: “Pat Cosgrave rides Winter Lightning in the mornings and was very keen to ride her tonight, which gave us confidence because he knows the filly very well.

“We have always thought Winter Lightning was very good. She had some problems early on, so we gave her five months off, and she is improving all the time now.

“She is a half-sister to Thunder Snow and they are both relaxed horses – nothing worries them and they both work very professionally.

“Winter Lightning was a bit light when she ran at Newmarket but she has improved physically as a three-year-old.”

Looking to future plans, Bin Suroor told www.godolphin.com: “She looked very good tonight and we will talk to Sheikh Mohammed, but her next target could be the UAE 1,000 Guineas (on February 8).”

There was to be no dream fifth Dubawi Stakes victory for popular veteran Reynaldothewizard as Comicas won the Group Three contest for Godolphin and Appleby.

Reynaldothewizard is in his final season as a 12-year-old but he was struggling from the off from his inside draw as Muarrab and My Catch appeared to have the race between them.

William Buick was flying down the outside on Comicas, though, eventually getting up to win by a length and a quarter to book a potential slot in the Golden Shaheen on Dubai World Cup night.

Doug Watson may have been out of luck with Rayya, but he did hit the target with ex-American recruit Kimbear, who ran out an impressive five-length winner of the CEPSA Energy Cup.

Kimbear’s owner Sheikh Rashid bin Humaid Al Nuaimi was securing a double after Janszoon had earlier claimed the Yahsat Satellite Cup in the hands of Silvestre de Sousa.

Carnival regular Mike de Kock scored his first win of the 2018 meeting as he teamed up with old ally Christophe Soumillon to win the Mubadala Global Trophy with Light The Lights.

Melbourne Cup-winning trainer David Hayes saw Faatinah win the six-furlong handicap in the hands of Jim Crowley.