04/15/2007 11:00PM

Darjina takes French Guineas prep by neck


Darjina took top honors on Sunday at Longchamp, where she produced a professional victory in the Group 3, $106,000 Prix de la Grotte, the traditional course and distance prep for the French 1000 Guineas on May 13.

Owned by the Aga Khan's daughter, Princess Zahra Aga Khan, and trained by Alain de Royer-Dupre, Darjina held off Missvinski to win by a short neck under Christophe Soumillon in just the second start of her career and her first this year. She had debuted on Nov. 3, winning a one-mile allowance at Saint-Cloud. Darjina, the 9-5 favorite, was timed in 1:38.40 for the mile on good ground.

In beating six-furlong listed winner Missvinski, Darjina also left three Group 3 winners in her wake with Chinandega third, while the disappointing pair of Iron Lips and Poltava came home eighth and ninth.

In the French 2000 Guineas prep, the Group 3, $106,000 Prix de Fontainebleau, the 15-1 Chichi Creasy upset the favored Battle Paint by a length, getting the mile under Ronan Thomas in 1:38.20. It was the third straight victory for Chichi Creasy in his first attempt in stakes company. He will, however, have to be supplemented if he is to run in either the French 2000 Guineas or the French Derby.

* Dylan Thomas, winner of the Irish Derby and the Irish Champion Stakes for Aidan O'Brien last year, made his 4-year-old debut a winning one at the Curragh by taking the listed 1 1/4-mile Alleged Stakes by three lengths from Fracas.