Winter Lightning produced a smart performance to comfortably land the 1000 Guineas at Meydan. This impeccably bred daughter of Shamardal confirmed the form of her victory over Rayya three weeks ago as she pulled away from her old rival in the final 200 metres.
Trainer Saeed bin Suroor, who was claiming a 10th victory in the race, told www.godolphin.com: "We will aim her at the UAE Oaks and plans from there will depend on how she gets on in that race. We will talk to Sheikh Mohammed about further plans but we will keep the options open regarding the UAE Derby. Winter Lightning is a filly for the future. She is a big, strong filly who can show something this year and during her four-year-old campaign. We can keep her in training for the future because she didn't do much as a two-year-old. She always shows her class and we need to think about the 1000 Guineas at Newmarket."
Winter Lightning is a half-sister to stablemate Thunder Snow, who later got in on the act in round two of the Al Maktoum Challenge. The two-time Group One winner was given a cute ride by Christophe Soumillon to get the better of North America by a neck. Soumillon believes the Juddmonte International at York would be a perfect race for Thunder Snow, but told Racing UK: "Unfortunately I saw that Enable will run in that race, but why not (run)? It will be great if Winx is there as well. I'm sure over a mile and a quarter he will be great. On this kind of track and on this kind of surface he will be great."
Saeed bin Suroor celebrating his 11th success in the Al Maktoum Challenge Round Two, again talking on the Godolphin website, said “I don’t think the trip suited Thunder Snow last time when he ran over the mile and the nine and a half furlongs today is a better distance for him. Going up further in trip to a mile and a quarter will suit him even better. After he last ran in England, we gave him a break for three months to prepare him for this Dubai campaign. Thunder Snow has improved from his last race and he looked in good shape and was ready to run tonight. Mentally, he has always been nice and relaxed, but physically we thought he had improved and he looked better than ever. We will take him to the third round of the Al Maktoum Challenge (G1, 10f, dirt, 10th March, Meydan) on Super Saturday and then Sheikh Mohammed will make the decision where to go after that. He looked good today and won well so I am happy. Thunder Snow is a tough horse, who always does well and is a professional. He handled the dirt well – he won the UAE 2000 Guineas and the UAE Derby last year. We are looking forward for a better result in the future.”