07/27/2004 12:00AM

Cacique drops into Group 3


Cacique, runner-up to the outstanding Bago at the Group 1 level in his last two starts, has found a likely spot for victory in the Group 3 Prix Daphnis at Chantilly on Thursday.

Out of the superb broodmare Hasili, Cacique is a full brother to Banks Hill, Dansili, and Intercontinental, as well as a half-brother to Heat Haze. The winner of his first two starts, he finished three lengths behind Bago in the 1 1/8-mile Prix Jean Prat on June 6 and was just a half-length behind the undefeated Bago in the 1 1/4-mile Grand Prix de Paris on June 27.

Andre Fabre is dropping Cacique down in both class and distance for the 1 1/8-mile Daphnis. With Bago headed to the Juddmonte International at York on Aug. 17, Gary Stevens should find few problems in guiding Cacique, a Khalid Abdullah-owned son of Danehill, to his third victory in five starts.

If a challenge materializes, it could come from either the Jean Prat's third-place finisher, Ershaad, or German invader Apeiron, winner of the Group 3 Fruhjahrs-Preis at Frankfurt on April 25.