Updated on 09/16/2011 6:40AM

China Visit upset in Challenge


China Visit failed in his annual return to Nad Al Sheba Thursday night when he was beaten a nose in Round 1 of the Group 3 Maktoum Challenge by Skoozi, a 7-year-old New Zealand-bred gelding who races in Australia as Skoozi Please. The one-mile dirt contest was the first of three preps for horses aiming at one or another of the rich races on Dubai World Cup night, March 23.

Skoozi, owned by Rashid bin Ahmed Al Mualla, is likely to be aimed at either the Godolphin Mile on dirt or the 1 1/8-mile Dubai Duty Free on turf. China Visit, who won Round 1 of the Maktoum Challenge last year, is also a candidate for those races, but Godolphin's plans are uncertain for Curule, who was scratched from Thursday night's race.

Godolphin announced Thursday that Sakhee, named this week as highweight horse on the 2001 International Classification, would probably go directly to the Dubai World Cup without a prep. They also said they will nominate their Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies winner Tempera to both the Kentucky Derby and the Kentucky Oaks.