Racing: Desert Prince puts on his Sunday best

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The Independent Online
DESERT PRINCE showed the benefit of a high-summer sabbatical on a Sunday yesterday when he became the first British horse since All At Sea in 1992 to wrest the Prix du Moulin from France.

The winner's trainer, David Loder, is soon to be based on the continent with Godolphin and the message that his horses must perform on foreign fields has clearly been stamped at his Newmarket yard. Desert Prince, who was third in the Prix d'Essai des Poulains (French 2,000 Guineas) in May, spurted clear for a decisive three lengths victory at Longchamp from the home side's Gold Away.

Aidan O'Brien's Second Empire was third in the heavy ground, while Seeking The Pearl, the Japanese winner of the recent Prix Maurice de Gheest, faltered into fifth.

The winner paid 4.1-1 on the Paris-Mutuel, which would not have made many millionaires, and his trainer was not exactly stunned by the victory either. "The plan was to rest him after Royal Ascot until this race and then go for the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes at Ascot and the Breeders' Cup Mile before retiring the horse to stud," Loder said. "We reckon he has improved 10lb in his work between Royal Ascot and now."

Edabiya enhanced her prospects for next season's Classics by winning the Group One Moyglare Stud Stakes over seven furlongs at the Curragh. The John Oxx-trained Rainbow Quest filly proved an emphatic winner under Johnny Murtagh. Chasing the leaders two furlongs out, Edabiya, the 9-4 favourite, responded bravely for Murtagh into a strong headwind to score by two lengths.

"We have to be happy with that performance as she is not really bred to be a Group One winner over this trip at two," said Oxx. "Now we will have a look at either the Fillies' Mile at Ascot at the end of the month or the Prix Marcel Boussac at Longchamp. She is a half-sister to Ebadiyla who won the Irish Oaks and the French St Leger for us last year, but although she is a different type, I'd be amazed if she doesn't stay at least a mile and-a half next season."

Bookmakers reaction was mixed. Ladbrokes offer 10-1 about her chances for next year's 1,000 Guineas and Oaks, but William Hill go 16-1 from 25-1 for the Oaks and leave her at 25-1 for the 1,000 Guineas.

Tommy Stack's Fear And Greed (12-1) was second, a length in front of the Aidan O'Brien-trained Crystal Downs.

Back in Blighty, the final, and oldest Classic, the St Leger, appears to be at the mercy of one of the newest great powers in world racing if the bookmakers are to be taken into consideration. In the Ladbrokes market on the final Classic the boys in blue, Godolphin, have Sea Wave, Nedawi and Central Park at the summit of the market, even though the formation of the Arab-wintered team has yet to be confirmed.

Sea Wave is the obvious consideration following his flowing victory in the Great Voltigeur at York, but even the participation of the ante-post favourite is being discussed. Simon Crisford, the Godolphin racing manager, said yesterday. "We might wait until the middle of the week before making any decisions and perhaps even wait until the end of the week.

"Sea Wave was very impressive at York, but, like other horses, there are alternative races for him."

There are others to consider before the stalls open on Town Moor. Sadian was supplemented on Saturday at a cost of pounds 20,000. He is priced at 10- 1. Sadian ran poorly in the Derby and may now have to wrestle with an Irish colt which finished some way ahead of him at Epsom. Sunshine Street led for some way in the Blue Riband, further than his starting price of 150-1 might suggest, and may now try to confirm that his eventual fourth placing was more than an aberration. "He is a definite runner if the ground is good or faster," Noel Meade, his trainer, said.

THE ST LEGER (Doncaster, Saturday): Ladbrokes: evens Sea Wave, 5-1 Nedawi, 8-1 Central Park, The Glow Worm, 10-1 High And Low, Sadian, Sunshine Street, 14-1 Ta-Lim.

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