By Racinguk.com staff
Rare Rhythm turned over Vazirabad in the Nad Al Sheba Trophy at Meydan.
The two horses had it to themselves in the home straight and pulled a long way clear, but it was William Buick on Charlie Appleby's six-year-old who came out on top.
Vazirabad, trained Alain de Royer-Dupre, was beaten in the same race 12 months ago before going on to win the Dubai Gold Cup, and connections will be hoping for a similar outcome on World Cup night.
The lightly-raced Rare Rhythm, winner of his previous two starts at Royal Ascot and York, is, however, likely to provide a stern test.
Buick got first run on Christophe Soumillon and was able to keep him at bay throughout the last furlong.
Appleby said of the 7-4 chance: "He was in great nick and he doesn't have much mileage on the clock.
"When he won at Royal Ascot, he didn't surprise me and then he backed it up with a Listed win at York so he ticked a lot of boxes.
"I think we just had the better turn of foot. He is handy over a mile and a half, but we'll probably look towards the Gold Cup on World Cup night now.
"He's a nice horse going forward."
Long odds-on favourite Winter Lightning was a huge disappointment in the UAE Oaks, won by Rayya.
On the figures it looked a straightforward task for Saeed bin Suroor's filly, but she put in a very laboured effort in third.
Doug Watson's Rayya (9-2) was allowed an easy lead and Pat Dobbs never had a moment of worry, beating Expressiy by three and three-quarter lengths.
Dobbs said: "I knew halfway down the back she was going to be hard to beat.
"It was a massive advantage being in the lead and I just went nice, even fractions."
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