05/29/2006 12:00AM

Champ returns with a win


Hurricane Run gave clear evidence that he is better than ever as he cruised to victory over two outclassed rivals in the $318,000 Tattersalls Gold Cup at The Curragh in Ireland on Sunday.

Winner of the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe and the European Horse of the Year in 2005, Hurricane Run led throughout the 1 5/16-mile Group 1 race, the heavy ground not bothering him in the least. Away alertly, Hurricane Run, the 1-4 favorite, had outsider Lord Admiral on his shoulder until Kieren Fallon asked him for more at the quarter pole. Hurricane Run responded to draw clear for a seven-length victory over Alexander Goldrun as Lord Admiral faded to finish third and last.

The insignificant time for the distance over a quagmire was 2:26.42.

Andre Fabre, who trains Hurricane Run for Michael Tabor, was delighted with the result, especially since it was the Montjeu 4-year-old's first outing since his Arc triumph on Oct. 2. Fabre already has Hurricane Run's season fully plotted, with the Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud on June 25, the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Diamond Stakes at Ascot on July 29, and Longchamp's Arc on Oct. 1 his announced goals.

Fabre had extra reason to be pleased, as he noted that Hurricane Run had cut his tongue and lost a shoe during the race, but neither those mishaps nor the the state of the ground was going to stop him on this day.

The Irish 1000 Guineas on the same card was won by the 12-1 Nightime, a Galileo filly who is trained by Dermot Weld for his 90-year-old mother, breeder-owner Catherine Weld.

Nightime, who only won her maiden second time out in her seasonal debut at Cork going 1 1/8 miles on April 16, reveled in the heavy going. She drew off for a six-length victory under Pat Smullen. The 5-2 favorite, Confidential Lady, who had been second in the Newmarket 1000 Guineas, set the pace but weakened to finish sixth, beaten 14 3/4 lengths. The winning time was 1:48.37.

Weld said that he was considering Nightime for both the one-mile Coronation Stakes at Royal Ascot and the 1 1/2-mile Irish Oaks.