08/18/2003 11:00PM

Falbrav wins Juddmonte Int'l.


YORK, England - Falbrav established himself as the best 1 1/4-mile horse in Europe on Tuesday with a two-length victory over Magistretti in the Juddmonte International Stakes at York.

After Nayef, winner of the Prince of Wales's Stakes, had taken over from his pacesetter Izdiham approaching the quarter pole, the 5-2 Falbrav looked like he had a lot to do under Darryll Holland. But Falbrav, a 5-year-old Irish-bred son of Fairy King, responded when asked and stormed ahead at the three-sixteenths pole. His time for the 1 1/4 miles and 85 yards on good to firm ground was 2:06.84.

"He fears no one," said Falbrav's trainer, Luca Cumani, "and he stamps his authority on the races he wins with an awesome power."

Since the Prince of Wales's, Falbrav has beaten Nayef in the Eclipse Stakes and finished ahead of him when fifth in Alamshar's King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Diamond Stakes. Previously, he had beaten the subsequent Prix d'Astarte winner Bright Sky in the 1 1/8-mile Prix d'Ispahan.

Last November, Falbrav outgamed Sarafan to win the Japan Cup, but co-owner Teruya Yoshida has ruled out a second try at the Group 1 stakes.

Cumani said Falbrav won't run in the Breeders' Cup Turf because he would have to be supplemented. Instead, he is being pointed to the $2.4 million Hong Kong Cup.

In addition to the first-place money of $430,000, Falbrav's Juddmonte International victory earned him a bonus of $400,000 for winning the British Horseracing Board's middle-distance championship.

Magistretti, who had won the Group 2 Dante Stakes over the Juddmonte International course and distance in May, is an improving sort who could go for the Champion Stakes on Oct. 18. No plans for Nayef, beaten 3 1/2 lengths into third, were announced by trainer Marcus Tregoning. Meanwhile, the Aga Khan's 9-5 favorite Kalaman weakened into seventh, beating only the pacesetter Izdiham.

* Thursday's Group 1 Nunthorpe Stakes, a straight five-furlong sprint that has drawn a field of 10, should be a straightforward task for Oasis Dream, the winner last month at Newmarket of the six-furlong Group 1 July Cup over Australian speedster Choisir.

The Tatling, recent winner of the five-furlong King George Stakes at Goodwood, and the consistent Danehurst are the ones who will give Oasis Dream, last year's European juvenile champion, the most trouble.