08/25/2008 12:00AM

Bushranger plays spoiler to Naaqoos


Bushranger rallied to win the $517,000 Prix Morny at Deauville on Sunday to deny trainer Freddy Head a sweep of Deauville's four Group 1 races as his favored Naaqoos could manage only fifth in the 14-runner. six-furlong sprint for 2-year-old colts and fillies.

Trained in Ireland by David Wachman for Derrick Smith, Susan Magnier, and Michael Tabor, the 4-1 Bushranger collared the Gallagher 150 yards form the line to record a half-length victory, equaling the stakes record time of 1:09.90 set in 1984 by Seven Springs. The Speightstown colt Lord Shanakill was third, 2 1/2-lengths behind the runner-up while the 7-2 Naaqoos was beaten a total of five lengths.

While giving Coolmore's first-string rider Johnny Murtagh his 17th Group 1 victory of the year, Bushranger was paying a big compliment to Coolmore's Aidan O'Brien-trained Mastercraftsman, Europe's highest rated 2-year-old, who had beaten him by five lengths into third in the Group 1 Phoenix Stakes. Bushranger had previously won the six-furlong, Group 3 Anglesey Stakes and while Wachman said he believes the son of Danetime will hande longer distances, he has not made any plans for the future.