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Rayya captures UAE Oaks; dam bought for $2,200 in 2016

Rayya has burst on to the scene in Dubai this year as one of the Meydan Carnival’s best 3yo fillies, a status that was confirmed in no uncertain style on Thursday when she won the G3 UAE Oaks by a widening 3 3/4 lengths over Expressiy. Odds on favourite Winter Lightning, who had previously beaten Rayya in the UAE 1,000 Guineas, was well beaten in third.

Rayya, a daughter of Tiz Wonderful who cost $190,000 as a 2yo, is out of Spread, bought for just $2,200 by Chad Schumer, as agent, at the 2016 Keeneland November Sale. The daughter of Coronado’s Quest was sold in foal to Race Day.

“Halfway down the back straight I knew she was going to be very hard to beat,” jockey Pat Dobbs told the press. “The one draw is a big help and I was not going to waste it. We knew she would stay, so I was always going to be positive, but you have to compliment [trainer] Doug Watson and his team for getting her back to her best.”

The winner of two of four starts for $291,750 in earnings, Rayya is now set for the G2 UAE Derby on Dubai World Cup day. Thereafter, she is set to join Bob Baffert with an eye on the G1 Kentucky Oaks.

Rayya isn’t the only major update to come the way of Spread since her $2,200 purchase: the mare’s 2013 foal, Curlin Road, was successful in last year’s Grade 3 Cougar II Handicap and now also boasts earnings close to $300,000.

Spread is a winning half-sister to Listed winner Network and out of a daughter of G1 winner Fara’s Team, also the dam of G1 Breeders’ Cup Classic hero Concern.

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