02/07/2008 12:00AM

Lucky Find an easy winner in Maktoum Challenge


Lucky Find continued his progress toward the Dubai World Cup with a decisive 2 1/4-length victory in Round 2 of the $200,000 Maktoum Challenge at Nad Al Sheba on Thursday night.

The South African-bred Lucky Find had little difficulty overhauling the pacesetting Kandidate to win the Group 3 contest, clocking 1:49.06 for the 1 1/8 miles on a fast dirt track. Kandidate was a clear second, seven lengths in front of Imperial Star in third. West Virginia, making his first start since October 2006, was last of 12.

Trained by Mike de Kock, Lucky Find had begun his Dubai campaign with a handy 7 1/2-length score in a 1 1/8-mile allowance on Jan. 17. De Kock said that he would send Lucky Find in 1 1/4-mile Round 3 of the Maktoum Challenge on March 6 as a final prep for the $6 million World Cup on March 29.

Earlier, De Kock produced a filly candidate for the Dubai Duty Free when Sun Classique, a South African Group 1 winner, took the listed one-mile Cape Verdi Stakes by 2 1/4 lengths. She will prep for the $5 million Duty Free in the listed Balanchine Stakes on Feb. 22.