01/29/2008 12:00AM

Jay Peg toting Dubai burden


The local road to the $5 million Dubai Duty Free begins at Nad Al Sheba on Thursday night with the Group 3 Al Rashidiya, a 1 1/8-mile turf race worth $200,000.

Jay Peg, the South African-bred winner of both the Cape Guineas and the Cape Derby in his homeland, has been attracting a lot of attention in the morning of late, but he must carry a penalty for those two Group 1 victories. He will be spotting his nine rivals six pounds while coming off losses in his last three tries against older horses.

Davidoff, trained in Germany, could be most likely to take advantage. A Montjeu 4-year-old, he won the Group 3 Dr. Busch Memorial at Krefeld last spring and has placed in three German Group 3's since, as well as finishing fourth in the German 2000 Guineas. Andrasch Starke has the call.

Lord Admiral, trained by Charles O'Brien for the great trainer and now owner Vincent O'Brien, is a veteran of the group race wars in both Europe and Dubai. Last seen when winning the listed Knockaire Stakes at Leopardstown on Nov. 4, Lord Admiral, an El Prado 7-year-old, was second in a pair of Group 2 races at Nad Al Sheba two years ago and is a danger with Michael Kinane aboard.