05/10/2007 11:00PM

Finsceal Beo seeks second Guineas prize


Finsceal Beo takes step two in her bold attempt to become the first filly to win all three of the major European 1000 Guineas on Sunday when she tackles 12 rivals in the French version of the classic mile at Longchamp, the $540,000 Poule d'Essai des Pouliches.

Returning to the wars just a week after her impressive 2 1/2-length victory in the English 1000 Guineas at Newmarket, Finsceal Beo is attempting to become the first filly since Miesque in 1987 to win both the English Guineas and its French equivalent, but Miesque turned the trick when there were 17 days between the two races. Should Finsceal Beo be successful on Sunday, trainer Jim Bolger has said he will send his Mr. Greeley filly after an unprecedented third 1000 Guineas at the Curragh on May 27.

The quick turnaround aside, victory at Longchamp may be more difficult than it was at Newmarket. Although she has drawn perfectly in gate 4 and will have regular rider Kevin Manning aboard, Finsceal Beo will be facing the dangerous British invader Sander Camillo. Scratched from the Newmarket Guineas in favor of this, the Group 2-winning Sander Camillo runs into Finsceal Beo off a subpar third in the Group 3 Nell Gwyn Stakes.

Also squaring off against the favorite will be Peace Dream, a Linamix filly who is 4 for 4 at the allowance level, and Rahiyah, the three-length runner-up to Finsceal Beo in the Group 2 Rockfel Stakes last fall. The best chance for an upset, however, comes in the form of Darjina, a filly owned by the Aga Khan and trained by Alain de Royer-Dupre. She is coming off a victory over the Pouliches course and distance in the Group 3 Prix de la Grotte and will have French champion rider Christophe Soumillon in the saddle.

The $540,000 Poule d'Essai des Poulains, or French 2000 Guineas for colts, looks very much like a shakedown race, as almost any of its 14 runners could win. Battle Paint and Visionario, second and third in the Group 3 Prix de Fontainebleau on April 15, will attract local support, as will leading French juvenile Spirit One, but the winner could come from across the channel.

Godolphin will send out last summer's Group 2 Horris Hill Stakes winner, Dijeer, while Aidan O'Brien will saddle four, among them Group 2 Mill Reef Stakes winner Excellent Art, listed Loughbrown Stakes winner Honoured Guest, and Brave Tin Soldier, a Storm Cat colt out of a full sister to Fusaichi Pegasus.

* Last year Dance in the Mood springboarded from victory in the Victoria Mile to win Hollywood's CashCall Mile. This year's Victoria Mile at Tokyo on Sunday, a Grade 1 event worth $1.48 million, features Japan's leading older filly Kawakami Princess. A two-time Grade 1 winner, she is the lukewarm favorite in a field that includes last year's American Oaks runner-up, Asahi Rising; Grade 1 winner Sweep Tosho; and course specialist Dia de la Novia.