02/19/2008 1:00AM

Linngari trying three-peat


Linngari goes in search of a third consecutive victory in the Group 2, $250,000 Al Fahidi Fort at Nad Al Shea Thursday night as he continues on the road to the $5 million Dubai Duty Free on March 29.

An Indian Ridge 6-year-old, now trained by South African Herman Brown, Linngari returned to action with a bang on Jan. 24, taking a 7 1/2-furlong handicap by 1 1/2 lengths while spotting the field at least six pounds. He is being asked an even tougher question in the one-mile Al Fahidi Fort, in which he must spot all nine of his more accomplished rivals the same six pounds. Ryan Moore has the ride on Linngari, whose previous victory had come in the Group 1 Premio Vittorio di Capua in Milan on Oct. 21.

Chief among his foes could be Lord Admiral, the 3 3/4-length winner of the 1 1/8-mile Group 3 Al Rashidiya on Jan. 31. Two horses with American credentials - Danak, a close sixth last time in the Arlington Million, and Dark Islander, the winner of the 2006 Oak Tree Derby - could make their presence felt.

In other anticipation of Dubai World Cup Night, two very highly rated horses other than Curlin have arrived recently in the UAE to prepare for their big races that evening.

Youmzain, second to Dylan Thomas in both the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe and the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes last year, is aiming for the Dubai Sheema Classic, in which he was third last year.

From New Zealand comes their champion mare Seachange. A Group 1 winner in Australia, New Zealand and Hong Kong, Seachange has won seven Group 1's in her native land. Trainer Ralph Manning will prep her in the March 6 Jebel Hatta for a tilt at the Dubai Duty Free.