Lucky FindLucky Find (Andrew Watkins)Mike de Kock and Kevin Shea teamed up to land the big event of the evening when South African invader Lucky Find (SAf) proved best in the G3 Maktoum Challenge Round 2. Marking his debut in the UAE with a sound victory on opening night of the Carnival Jan. 17, the grandson of Forty Niner was facing a more accomplished bunch this time, including defending champ Kandidate (GB), winner of the G3 September S. at Kempton; and MGSW West Virginia, third in the GI Pimlico Special, GI Stephen Foster H., and GI Whitney H. last year. Content to track leader Kandidate in the early going, the chestnut eased to the fore 300 meters from the wire and drew clear to score comfortably.

“He improved tremendously from his first run, so we were very confident,” said winning trainer Mike de Kock. “We’ll go for the third round of the Maktoum Challenge next (Mar. 6) and, hopefully, he could be a Dubai World Cup horse.”

Nad al Sheba, Dubai

SHEIKH MAKTOUM BIN RASHID AL MAKTOUM CHALLENGE ROUND 2-G3, $200,000, 2-7, NAD, NH4yo/up/SH3yo/up,1800m, 1:49.06, gd.

1—@LUCKY FIND (SAF), 125, g, 5, by Rich Man=s Gold
            1st Dam: Little Erna (SAf), by Ernani (Ire)
            2nd Dam: Little Hope (SAf), by Ellidor (Fr)
            3rd Dam: Let
=s Hope So (SAf), by African Hope (Ire)

O-Sheikh Ahmed bin Mohd bin Khalifa Al Maktoum; B-C W Nelson & J Mahony (SAF); T-Mike de Kock; J-Kevin Shea; $120,000. Lifetime Record: G1SP-SAf, 11-6-4-0, $280,640. *1/2 to Pay the Piper (SAf) (Saumarez {GB}), MSW-SAf.

2—Kandidate (GB), 125, h, 6, Kabool (GB)—Valleyrose (Ire), by Royal Academy. (30,000gns wnlg >02

3—Imperial Star (Ire), 125, h, 5, Fantastic Light— Out West, by Gone West. Margins: 2 1/4, 7, HD.

Extract from Thoroughbred Daily News 08.02.08