10/01/2003 11:00PM

Britons set for assault in Paris


PARIS - British invaders have a good record at Longchamp on Arc weekend, and Saturday's meeting, which serves as the tablesetter for Sunday's Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe, should be no exception, with Gateman, Ikhtyar, and Ocean Silk all in position for victory.

Last year, Domedriver graduated from the $128,000 Prix Daniel Wildenstein to win the Breeders' Cup Mile, but Saturday's renewal of the Group 2 mile at Longchamp does not appear to contain a strong candidate for the big day at Santa Anita.

That said, any one of three or four of the Wildenstein runners could qualify for a trip to the Breeders' Cup if he can win as convincingly as did Domedriver.

Dandoun, trained by John Dunlop and one of four British invaders in the 10-runner field, won a similar contest in the Group 2 Prix du Muguet at Saint-Cloud on May 1. He was, however, beaten into 10th in Nebraska Tornado's Prix du Moulin victory over the course and distance.

The Mark Johnston-trained Gateman beat subsequent Group 1 Sussex Stakes winner Reel Buddy in the Group 3 Diomed Stakes in June and was recently the winner of a listed mile at Haydock. He was third to Domedriver in this race last year and may be good enough to take the prize this time.

The $110,000 Group 2 Prix Dollar, run at the odd distance of 1 1/8 miles, 155 yards, or about 65 yards short of 1 1/4 miles, is an open affair in which another British invader, Ikhtyar, can confirm his long-held promise.

A 3-year-old half brother to French 2000 Guineas winner Landseer, the John Gosden-trained Ikhtyar was the six-length winner of a listed route at Sandown in July. He will relish the good ground that is expected at Longchamp for the weekend.

Gosden appears to be in the driver's seat in the Group 2 Prix de Royallieu, a 1 9/16-mile Group 2 contest for fillies and mares. He will saddle both Ocean Silk and Place Rouge for the $110,000 Royallieu.

Sixteen were left in Sunday's Arc de Triomphe on Thursday's entry stage. They include the supplemented First Charter, who will serve as a pacesetter for Epsom Derby winner Kris Kin,.

Alain de Royer-Dupre has left in Diyapour to act as Dalakhani's rabbit, while Alamshar has been left in by John Oxx but will run only if misfortune befalls Dalakhani before Sunday. Both Alamshar and Dalakhani, first and second in the Irish Derby, are owned by the Aga Khan, who does not want them knocking heads again.

With Alamshar, Policy Maker and one of High Chaparral's pacesetters, either Dalcassian or Fontanesi, still likely to be withdrawn, a field of just 13 could line up for the Arc, for which Dalakhani at 7-4 and High Chaparral at 2-1 remain the favorites.

* Carry on Katie (3-2) survived a late rush by Majestic Desert to win the six-furlong Group 1 Cheveley Park Stakes at Newmarket on Thursday by a short head.