Magic Lily continued to make up for lost time when she followed up her victory in the Cape Verdi by taking the Group Two Balanchine at Meydan.
Group One placed as a juvenile, she missed all of 2018 and only returned to action last autumn with two runs, neither of which yielded a win.
The Charlie Appleby-trained mare has thrived on being in Dubai and made triumphant start to 2020 with a last-gasp success over Nisreen and confirmed the form despite having to carry a 5lb penalty.
Connections expected the step up to nine furlongs would be in her favour and so it proved as Magic Lily stayed on strongly after getting first run on her old adversary to score by a length and a quarter in the hands of William Buick.
Appleby said: “What I liked about her this evening is she seems to be growing up. She only had four runs in her career before coming to Meydan.
“She’s behaved herself and got into a lovely rhythm and I was always confident going into the straight that she would hit the line strong. Stepping up in trip, we were always confident.
“It wasn’t our intention to win the Cape Verdi (four weeks ago), because the mile was a bit sharp for her, but (she won) and we were confident coming into today.
“Perhaps we could fall into something like the (Group One) Jebel Hatta (on Super Saturday, March 7). We have Barney Roy and a couple others and one other meeting to have a look at it.”
Appleby and Buick got off to a good start when Ya Hayati won the Meydan Trophy in good style on just his third start, while the trainer teamed up with Mickael Barzalona to win the closing 12-furlong handicap with Eynhallow.
Waady, runner-up to Equilateral three weeks ago, went one better in the Reach Handicap under Jim Crowley.
Hitting the front after the speedy Caspian Prince had blazed the trail, the eight-year-old went on to lead home a Doug Watson one-two with Torosay second. Caspian Prince was third.
Crowley said: “His last run when he was second to Equilateral was great and he deserved to win tonight.
“He’s a tough horse. He’s not getting any younger, but he seems to have found a nice level of form now and he’s getting quicker. It was a nice performance.”
Capezzano made a winning return on his first start since flopping in the Dubai World Cup last March when dominating the Firebreak Stakes.
Given a confident ride by Barzalona, Salem bin Ghadayer’s six-year-old had the opposition at full stretch as he came home clear from the staying-in Secret Ambition with the winner’s stablemate Matterhorn third.
Capezzano will now go for the Saudi Cup in Riyadh on February 29.
The winning trainer said: “Always his first time out, he doesn’t perform (well), but we saved him this year since we heard about the Saudi race and for (the Dubai) World Cup.
“We believe in this horse and his ability. We wanted to wait until this race.
“I know it’s just two weeks until the Saudi Cup, but we needed the race for his confidence and thank God he performed well. He showed his ability.
“We will go to the Saudi race and then (Dubai) World Cup night.”