02/07/2006 12:00AM

Jack Sullivan in Dubai defense

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Jack Sullivan will defend his Maktoum Challenge-Round 2 title at Nad Al Sheba Thursday night, when he will be sorely tested by Blatant, the easy winner of Round 1 of the Maktoum Challenge on Jan. 19.

Twelfth last time in the Breeders' Cup Classic, Jack Sullivan will be much more in his element in the Maktoum Challenge, a 1 1/8-mile, Group 3 prep for the Dubai World Cup worth $200,000. But if Blatant runs back to his 9 3/4-length victory in Round 1, he will be very difficult to beat.