04/26/2007 11:00PM

Dylan Thomas tough to beat in Prix Ganay


Dylan Thomas, fortified by a solid listed-race score at Leopardstown two weeks ago, merits strong favoritism at Longchamp on Sunday in the first European Group 1 contest of the year, the $408,000 Prix Ganay.

Trainer Aidan O'Brien appears to have Dylan Thomas, a 4-year-old Danehill colt, in something approaching peak condition for this 1 5/16-mile test. His three-length defeat of Group 2 winner Fracas in the 1 1/4-mile Alleged Stakes on April 15 was Dylan Thomas's first outing since his distant fourth in the Jockey Club Gold Cup. A two-time winner at the Group 1 level last year in the Irish Derby and the Irish Champion Stakes, he is clearly the horse to beat in the eight-runner Ganay. Christophe Soumillon has the ride.

The local challenge should come from the first two home in the 1 1/4-mile Group 2 Prix d'Harcourt on April 1: Boris de Deauville and Pearl Sky. But the Harcourt was run in heavy going. With good to soft ground expected at Longchamp on Sunday, they will be out of their preferred element.

German invader Egerton has some hope of an upset off his soft-ground victory in the 1 3/8-mile Group 3 Grand Prix Aufgalopp at Cologne on April 1, but Dylan Thomas holds all the aces.