09/04/2006 11:00PM

Arc prep plans still in flux


Andre Fabre is keeping one eye on the skies as he contemplates whether to send Hurricane Run to Leopardstown for the Irish Champion Stakes on Saturday or keep him in France for Sunday's Prix Foy at Longchamp.

His pending decision will determine whether Hurricane Run, the reigning European champion, will prep for a defense of his Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe title going 1 1/4 miles in Ireland against Ouija Board, or have himself an Arc course and distance prep in France against his very dangerous stablemate, Shirocco.

The weather will be the deciding factor, as Fabre would like Hurricane Run to go on somewhat rain-softened ground in preparation for the Oct. 1 Arc. With Shirocco having skipped last Sunday's Grosser Preis von Baden in favor of the 1 1/2-mile Prix Foy, Fabre had planned to avoid an intramural scrimmage between his two stable stars and send Hurricane Run to the Group 1 Irish Champion. The ground at Leopardstown, however, looks like it will be good on Saturday, and if that is the case, Hurricane Run will remain at home to contest the Group 2 Prix Foy at Longchamp, where the ground is more likely to be on the soft side. If the Foy is the choice, Hurricane Run is also likely to run into defending champ Pride, the mare who beat him in the Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud on June 25.

The ground, and Hurricane Run's presence or absence, could also influence where Aidan O'Brien will run Dylan Thomas. O'Brien wants to run his Irish Derby winner on good ground, but would like to avoid a confrontation with Hurricane Run before the Arc. If Hurricane Run goes at Leopardstown, Dylan Thomas will probably run in Sunday's Prix Niel, Longchamp's 1 1/2-mile Arc prep for 3-year-olds, a race in which Fabre will send the Grand Prix de Paris winner Rail Link.

Meanwhile, Japanese sensation Deep Impact is scheduled to work at Longchamp next week in lieu of an Arc prep. Having settled in at the Chantilly yard of Carlos Laffon-Parias, the 4-year-old Deep Impact will go in the Arc off a 14-week layoff. Deep Impact's regular rider, Yutaka Take, who is riding every Sunday in France through Arc weekend, is expected to be aboard for the work.