01/25/2005 12:00AM

'Destiny' one to beat in Dubai


The Dubai International Racing Carnival continues at Nad Al Sheba on Thursday night with the $150,000 Al Shindagha Sprint, a listed prep for the Dubai Golden Shaheen on March 26.

The most recognizable names in the field of 13 for the six-furlong race are Conroy and Tropical Star. Conroy, trained by Aditiyan Selvaratnam, has won the Group 3 Mahab Al Shimaal each of the last two years, with last year's victory preceding his third-place finish in the Golden Shaheen behind Our New Recruit and Alke. Tropical Star, second to Firebreak in last year's Godolphin Mile, is being wheeled back after an 11th-place finish in Round 1 of last Thursday's one-mile Maktoum Challenge.

But Mike de Kock, the South African trainer whose Grand Emporium won the Maktoum Challenge, has the horse to beat in Key of Destiny. The 7-year-old Qui Danzig gelding was 3 for 4 in South Africa at the Al Shindagha distance, albeit on turf, with his most recent victory coming in the Group 1 Golden Horse Sprint on May 30.

Another South African export, Al Nitak, now with Sateesh Seemar, cannot be overlooked. He won the Golden Horse Sprint in 2003 but could only manage seventh behind Key of Destiny in the same race last time.