06/09/2005 11:00PM

Divine Proportions battles Vadawina

Divine Proportions wins the Prix Marcel Boussac under Christophe Lemaire, one of her seven straight wins.

PARIS, France - Divine Proportions and Vadawina will square off in a mouthwatering renewal of the $960,000 Prix de Diane, or French Oaks, at Chantilly on Sunday.

The meeting of the two undefeated fillies in the 1 5/16-mile fillies classic conjures up an image of the proverbial battle between an irresistible force and an immovable object. Both have been impressive through the early stage of their careers. The better known of the duo, Divine Proportions, is perfect through seven starts, including victories in three Group 1 contests, most recently in the French 1000 Guineas on May 15. Trained by Pascal Bary, Divine Proportions is Europe's reigning juvenile filly champion. By Kingmambo out of a mare by Sadler's Wells, her undeniable class should enable her to see out this longer trip in her first attempt beyond a mile. She will be ridden by Christophe Lemaire.

Vadawina has already won a Group 1 race going 1 1/4 miles. That came when she stormed home by four lengths to take the Prix Saint-Alary last time, May 22. An Unfuwain filly trained by Andre Fabre, Vadawina is 3-for-3 lifetime and apparently still has plenty of room for improvement. She will be ridden by Christophe Soumillon and is coupled with her pacesetting entrymate, Alharmina.

With two prodigious fillies like Divine Proportions and Vadawina in the field, any other horse winning the Diane would be a major surprise. Argentina was a distant second in the Prix Saint-Alary. Perfect Hedge won the Group 3 Prix Penelope, but was then just third in the Saint-Alary. Satwa Queen is coming off a 2-1/2-length tally in the Group 3 Prix Vanteaux but will face much tougher company here.

Paita, a German invader trained by Mario Hofer, has been aimed for this race since she won the 1 1/4-mile Criterium de Saint-Cloud last fall against colts, including French Derby third Laverock. Paita has, however, only finished third in two starts in Germany this season and looks like one who has failed to train on.

It is hardly going out on a limb to select Divine Proportions to win the Vadawina. A half sister to Group 1 mile winner Whipper, who will face Cacique and Valentino in a highly competitive renewal of the one-mile Group 3 Prix du Chemin de Fer du Nord on the Diane undercard, Divine Proportions can succeed on Sunday in a race in which her paternal granddam, Miesque, narrowly failed; in the 1986 Prix de Diane, Miesque was caught late by another proven stayer, Indian Skimmer.