Oliver Peslier made his first ride in Dubai for four years a winning one as he pounced late on Pevensey Bay to claim the Group Two Cape Verdi at Meydan.
The six-year-old mare, trained in France by Hiroo Shimizu, was towards the rear of the field as they turned for home with Down On Bayou and Ascot Brass cutting out the pace.
Peslier kept his cool and delivered Pevensey Bay with a beautifully-timed run to nail Ascot Brass close home and score by three-quarters of a length. Wedding Dance was half a length away in third.
Peslier said: “She took a bit of time form the start, but not too far behind the lead and then I am very unlucky before the stretch. That was the reason I dropped her out and came out because it was too rough inside and she didn’t travel easy.
“Then I preferred to take my time and come outside because I know she has a very good turn of foot so inside the last two furlongs she went very well.
“Her last two furlongs were very good. When I took her to the outside she changed her legs and has very good acceleration.
“I have had some good success here and this was my second ride this year. I rode on Thursday in Pau and then took the plane to come back here and win. This is good.”
Golden Goal asserted close home to take his revenge on Secret Ambition in a thrilling race for round one of the Group Two Al Maktoum Challenge.
Secret Ambition had beaten Golden Goal by six lengths in the Godolphin Mile over the course and distance in March, but Golden Goal reversed the placings in some style.
The former was having his first race since that all-the-way success while the Doug Watson-trained Golden Goal had race-fitness on his side, having had a run just 29 days earlier.
The two protagonists were soon to the fore after Eastern World had broke quickly. There was little between Golden Goal and Secret Ambition as they turned for home and it was only in the closing stages that Golden Goal got on top to win by a length and a half under Sam Hitchcott.
Kafoo stayed on to be a never-threatening third, three and a quarter lengths away.
“You always have a plan in your head and fortunately enough it worked out as I imagined,” said Hitchcott.
“Tadhg (O’Shea) was bang there (on Secret Ambition). I didn’t really want to give him the fence easily so I just forced him a little bit.
“I imagine the Godolphin Mile would be the plan again. I’m sure we’ll all sit down and discuss it. If Doug can keep producing him like that then he will be tough to beat when it comes to it.”