06/01/2006 11:00PM

Arras has Chantilly upset shot


Europe's biggest classic weekend moves from Epsom to Chantilly on Sunday when an evenly matched field of 15 will contest the $1.92 million Prix du Jockey-Club, or French Derby.

Run at 1 5/16 miles past the chateau-lined backstretch 30 miles north of Paris, this year's Jockey-Club is notable for the absence of France's leading 3-year-olds. Visindar and Linda's Lad were to run Saturday in the Epsom Derby, while Gentlewave won the Italian Derby on May 21. All three are passing the Jockey-Club's 1 5/16 miles in favor of 1 1/2 miles in foreign climes.

Aussie Rules will vie for favoritism off his narrow victory in the one-mile French 2000 Guineas on May 14. Trained by Aidan O'Brien, he is a Danehill colt out of a two-time 1 1/4-mile Group 1 winner, Last Second, so he should appreciate the distance. Numide, who beat Gentlewave by a neck in the 1 3/8-mile Group 2 Prix Hocquart when Gentlewave's rider lost his whip, is a danger for leading French trainer Jean-Claude Rouget, who will also saddle Barastraight, recent winner of the 1 1/4-mile Group 3 Prix La Force.

An Andre Fabre trainee is the selection, however: Arras. Like Shirocco, winner of Friday's Coronation Cup at Epsom, he is a German-bred son of Monsun owned by Baron Georg von Ullmann. He has won both his starts, going 1 1/4 miles and 1 3/8 miles. With Olivier Peslier aboard, he should spring a mild upset.