01/17/2006 12:00AM

Maktoum Challenge gets going

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The Middle Eastern road to the Dubai World Cup begins at Nad Al Sheba on Thursday as two-time American Grade 2 winner Lundy's Liability heads a field of 10 in Round 1 of the $200,000 Maktoum Challenge.

Trained by Bobby Frankel to win the Goodwood Handicap in 2004 and the San Antonio Handicap last year, the Brazilian-bred Lundy's Liability has not run since finishing seventh in the Dubai Wold Cup on March 26. Now back under the care of South African trainer Mike de Kock, for whom he landed the UAE Derby two years ago, Lundy's Liability has not raced as short a distance as the one mile of this Group 3 event since February 2004.

His challengers include Blatant, whose best effort in England last year was a third-place finish behind Starcraft in the one-mile Group 1 Queen Elizabeth II Stakes, and Brunel, a Group 2 winner going a mile on turf in both Germany and Turkey.