11/09/2007 1:00AM

Footing key at Saint-Cloud

EmailSunday's 1 1/4-mile, $366,000 Criterium de Saint-Cloud, France's annual Group 1 foray into uncharted juvenile waters, should be a competitive affair in which the ability to handle soft ground will spell the difference.

The most accomplished entrants are Hannouma, the David Smaga-trained runner-up in the 1 1/8-mile Group 3 Prix de Conde, and Redolent, a Richard Hannon trainee who has been third to Thewayyouare in the one-mile Group 1 Criterium International and second to Ibn Khaldun, subsequent winner of the Group 1 Racing Post Trophy, in the Group 3 Autumn Stakes.

They will be tested by a pair of Aidan O'Brien-trained runners in Alessandro Volta, a Montjeu colt who won his maiden race last time out, in the listed 1 1/8-mile Eyrefield Stakes at Leopardstown, and Tale of Two Cities, a full brother to two-time Breeders' Cup Turf winner High Chaparral who was third going seven furlongs in his maiden debut at Cork.

Criquette Head-Maarek has supplemented Full of Gold, a Gold Away colt who won his maiden by five lengths going a mile at Saint-Cloud on Oct. 25. He will be joined by his stablemate Putney Bridge, a handy maiden winner going a mile at Deauville on Oct. 22. Siberian Tiger, a one-mile listed race winner at Pontefract, should be staying on late.