Skoozi, a 6-year-old bred in New Zealand, overtook China Visit in deep stretch to post a nose victory over China Visit in the first round of the Maktoum Challenge (UAE-III) Thursday at Nad Al Sheba Racecourse. Royal Tryst, a U.S.-bred son of Kingmambo, finished third.
China Visit's runner-up effort after leading throughout most of the mile race was the best of three horses in the race owned by Godolphin. The stable's two other entrants, State Shinto and Nooshman, were unplaced in the nine horse field. Godolphin's Curule had been entered but did not run.
Trained by Alan Smith for owner Sheikh Rashid bin Ahmed Al Mualla, Skoozi earned a ticket to compete on the Duai World Cup card of March 23, although it is uncertain in which race he will compete. A son of Prince of Praise, Skoozi won the Maktoum Challenge Prep three weeks ago at the same distance as Thursday's race.
Skoozi was ridden to victory by Wayne Smith.
In another race on Thursday's Nad Al Sheba card, Godolphin's well-bred Dubai to Dubai, a 4-year-old son of Kris S who is a half-brother to Fasiliyev, finished third in his 2002 debut.