Lucky Strikes in Maktoum Challenge
Photo: Trevor Jones
Trainer Mike de Kock
Trainer Mike de Kock and jockey Kevin Shea teamed up to capture the two stakes races that highlighted the fourth evening of the Dubai Racing Carnival at Nad al Sheba Feb. 7. 

In the evening’s feature event, the Sheikh Maktoum bin Rashid al Maktoum Challenge-Round 2 (UAE-III), the South African trainer and jockey were victorious with Lucky Find, who won by an impressive 2 1/4-lengths.

Lucky Find, a 5-year-old gelded son of Rich Man’s Gold, was making his second start of the meet.  He had previously won a nine furlong handicap on Jan. 31, the opening night of the Carnival.  This time around, he was facing two past winners of this event, Kandidate and Jack Sullivan.

Kandidate broke sharply under Ryan Moore and immediately went to the front.  He was tracked closely by Lucky Find and Boscobel throughout the early stages of the race.  The order remained the same as the horses entered the straightaway, but Lucky Find drew alongside to challenge Kandidate with just over two furlongs left, as Boscobel began to tire.

The pair battled fiercely during the remaining stages of the race, with Lucky Find eventually wearing down Kandidate inside the final furlong to pull away for the win.

Imperial Star made a belated move to capture third, seven lengths behind Kandidate.  Time for the nine furlongs over the fast track was 1:49.06.

Cape Verdi Stakes

Sun Classique began the stakes double for De Kock and Shea when she easily captured the listed Cape Verdi Stakes by 2 1/4-lengths.

Sun Classique, who was champion 3-year-old filly in South Africa last season, entered the race with high expectations and the top impost of 136 pounds.  The three-time group I winner made easy work of the one mile turf contest, drawing away from Godolphin’s Many Colours to win comfortably. 

Classy-Lady got up for third, just a neck behind Many Colours.  Final time for the one mile over the firm turf was 1:40.05.

Sun Classique is a 5-year-old chestnut mare by Fuji Kiseki out of Elfenjer, by Last Tycoon.  She was bred in Australia by L. Cohen, who co-owns her with W. V. Rippon.

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