04/14/2006 11:00PM

Fabre starts 3 of 6 in prep


Andre Fabre appears to have all bases covered at Longchamp on Monday when he will saddle three of the six runners in the Group 2, $157,000 Prix Noailles, the season's first major prep for the French Derby.

The focus will be on Linda's Lad, a Sadler's Wells colt who earned French juvenile championship honors by virtue of his victory in the Group 1 Criterium de Saint-Cloud at 1 1/4 miles last November. With that effort under his belt, Linda's Lad should have no problem with the 1 5/16 miles of the Noailles. Also in Fabre's corner is Bremen, a Sadler's Wells-Anka Germania colt who last took a 1 1/4-mile allowance at Longchamp, and the undefeated Gentlewave, an Irish-bred son of Monsun owned by Gary Tanaka who landed a 1 5/16-mile listed race at Saint-Cloud on March 18.

If Fabre is to be beaten, one might look to Grand Couturier. The Jean Claude Rouget-trained son of Grand Lodge arrives in Paris from the provinces, where he is undefeated in three starts at Angers and Marseille-Borely.

Earlier on the same card, Fabre will send out the highly promising Visindar in the Prix du Champ de Mars, a 1 1/8-mile conditions race. A Sinndar colt owned by the Aga Khan, Visindar won the one-mile Saint-Cloud maiden by four lengths in his lone start last November and is currently Ladbroke's 8-1 second choice for the Epsom Derby behind the 5-1 favorite, Horatio Nelson.