02/26/2015 4:44PM

Meydan: Favorites prevail in UAE Oaks, Zabeel Mile

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Andrew Watkins/Dubai Racing Club
Safety Check, ridden by William Buick, wins the Group 2 Zabeel Mile by a length.

Godolphin’s two heavy favorites, Local Time in the UAE Oaks and Safety Check in the Zabeel Mile, both scored comfortable wins on the Thursday night card at Meydan Racecourse in Dubai.

Safety Check, trained by Charlie Appleby and ridden  by William Buick, scored by one length over Dark Emerald in the Group 2, $250,000 Zabeel Mile, a one-turn turf race, and while not as visually impressive as his last-start score in the Al Fahidi Fort over about seven furlongs on turf, the win at this furlong-longer trip was solid enough.

Racing two paths off the fence in sixth for much of the running, Safety Check was moved steadily into contention coming outside with a little more than a quarter-mile to run. Showing more of a grinding pace than the sharp turn of foot displayed in two previous wins this meet, he hit the front and held clear all chasers, going the 1,600 meters on good turf in 1:34.53.

Thursday’s start was the last of this winter for Safety Check, Appleby said afterward, and the 4-year-old Dubawi colt will be pointed to a European campaign later this year.

Local Time had an easy time of it facing just four foes in the Group 3, $200,000 UAE Oaks, a 1 3/16-mile dirt race. Trained by Saeed bin Suroor and ridden by James Doyle, she pressed two-wide outside pacesetting Shahrasal before taking command with about a quarter-mile to run, going on to a geared-down, 4 3/4 lengths win in a slow 2:00.90.

By Invincible Spirit, Local Time has won six straight starts, scoring wins on synthetic and turf in England, and winning all three of her dirt races this winter in Dubai while facing overmatched competition.