06/20/2007 12:00AM

Finsceal Beo faces Darjina again


Finsceal Beo and Darjina face off for the European 3-year-old filly mile championship in the Group 1, $497,000 Coronation Stakes on Friday, the highlight of Day 4 at Royal Ascot.

Those two have dominated the three major European 1000 Guineas this spring, with Finsceal Beo following her juvenile championship season with victories in the English and Irish editions, and Darjina taking the French version at the expense of Finsceal Beo in the Poule d'Essai des Pouliches at Longchamp on May 13.

Trained by Alain de Royer-Dupre for the Aga Khan's daughter Princess Zahra, Darjina came late to catch Finsceal Beo near the wire that day. Since then, Finsceal Beo has won the Irish 1000 by a rather desperate neck. The Coronation will be Finsceal Beo's fourth major Group 1 appearance in less than seven weeks, and the Jim Bolger-trained daughter of Mr. Greeley may be feeling the pinch on Friday. Darjina, meanwhile has been freshened for the Coronation and will have Christophe Soumillon in the saddle. Kevin Manning takes his usual place aboard Finsceal Beo.

If the top two falter, either Rahiyah, a Rahy filly trained by Jeremy Noseda, or Mi Emma, a German invader trained by Andreas Wohler, can pick up the pieces. Rahiyah was second in the English 1000 and third in the French in her last two starts, while the undefeated Mi Emma looks dangerous coming off a nine-length cakewalk in the Group 2 German 1000 Guineas on April 29.

Albany: You'resothrilling tops field

You'resothrilling can live up to her name in the Group 2, $119,000 Albany Stakes for juvenile fillies at six furlongs. A full sister to Giant's Causeway, the Aidan O'Brien trainee was second vs. colts in her listed-race debut prior to winning the Group 3 Swordlestown Stud Sprint Stakes at Naas on June 4. The Jeremy Noseda-trained Baffled, winner of a Lingfield Polytrack maiden in her debut, looms a threat.

King Edward VII: Edge to Lucarno

George Strawbridge can land himself a Royal Ascot victory with the progressive Lucarno in the Group 2, $397,000 King Edward VII Stakes. The Dynaformer colt proved his liking for the 1 1/2-mile distance when battling on to be fourth in the Epsom Derby and holds an edge over Derby sixth Salford Mill.