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UAE Oaks places for Godolphin pair


Expressiy and Winter Lightning finished second and third in the G3 UAE Oaks over an extended nine furlongs on dirt at Meydan, UAE, on Thursday, 1 March.

They were beaten by Rayya, drawn one on the inside rail, whose winning time came to 1m 59.66s.

Expressiy (Charlie Appleby/William Buick) was driven leaving the stalls and disputed the early running with Rayya before racing in second, while UAE 1,000 Guineas scorer Winter Lightning (Saeed bin Suroor/Pat Cosgrave), drawn widest of all in six, broke well, was keen in third on the outside and then raced a wide fifth.

Winter Lightning moved up to fourth turning in but found little in the straight, just winning the battle for third, while Expressiy kept on without making an impression on the leader.

Rayya dictated steady fractions before quickening and finished three and three-quarter lengths clear of Expressiy, with a further four and a quarter lengths back to Winter Lightning. 

Saeed bin Suroor commented: “Winter Lightning was disappointing tonight.

“She was a little fresh, which is unusual as she has never behaved like this before. Even in the paddock, she was unhappy and she was a bit keen in the race as well. 

“The race was quite clear - she was keen on the outside - and things didn’t look great for her. 

“She came back in good order and we will make a decision in the future, but she could still run in the UAE Derby (G2, dirt, 9.5f, March 31).”

Charlie Appleby said: “Expressiy ran another solid race and she has been very consistent.

“Hopefully, she can win some races back in Europe.”