05/11/2012 2:59PM

France: Dabirsim tries to prove last loss a fluke in French 2000 Guineas


Sunday’s Group 1 Poule d’Essai des Poulains (French 2000 Guineas) on Sunday at Longchamp brings about a rematch between Dragon Pulse and 2-year-old star Dabirsim – with a touch, of course, of Aidan O’Brien thrown in.

Dabirsim made it through his 2-year-old season unbeaten in five starts, with victories in a pair of Group 1’s, but in his 3-year-old debut, the Prix de Fontainebleau at Longchamp, Dabirsim was collared just before the finish by Dragon Pulse. Multiple interpretations of the defeat exist. Dabirsim tugged hard at the reins for much of the Fontainebleau, in which he was ridden for the first time by Christophe Soumillon. Soumillon said he expected to win easily while on the lead a couple furlongs from home, but that Dabirsim didn’t accelerate the way his rider anticipated.

So, Dabirsim might have been too sharp in his first start of the year. Another possibility is that Dabirsim, a son of Hat Trick, might have simply been found wanting in his first try at a distance as long as one mile, the 2000 Guineas trip. And finally, there’s the chance that Dragon Pulse, himself a solid 2-year-old, has come further along at age 3 than his better-known rival. The Fontainebleau marked Dragon Pulse’s first start under the care of trainer Mikel Delzangles. It also was his first try at a distance longer than seven furlongs, and, rallying into a slow pace, Dragon Pulse seemed to like it.

O’Brien, meanwhile, has Furner’s Green for the 2000 Guineas, and the Dylan Thomas colt is not without a chance. A bit up and down at 2, Furner’s Green broke through with a convincing April 15 victory in the Group 2 Leopardstown 2000 Guineas Trial, albeit over just four foes.

◗ The undefeated Beauty Parlor steps up to the Group 1 level for the first time but nevertheless is the big favorite for the Group 1 Poule d’Essai des Pouliches (French 1000 Guineas) on Sunday.

Trained by Elie Lellouche for Ecurie Wildenstein, Beauty Parlor has started her career winning three races by 16 lengths combined. She made her 3-year-old debut April 15 in the Group 3 Prix de la Grotte and crushed six rivals, beating runner-up Woven Lace by more than four lengths.

The O’Brien-trained filly Up has some qualifications, having finished fourth last out behind stablemate Homecoming Queen, who returned to win the English 1000 Guineas last weekend. Fire Lily, the second choice in ante-post wagering, finished second in the same race, while promising Petite Noblesse, from the Andre Fabre stables, might improve later at longer distances.

◗ O’Brien and his son, jockey Joseph O’Brien, swept a pair of Group 3 stakes Friday at Chester. Astrology won the four-horse Dee Stakes by 11 lengths, and is a possible runner in the Epsom Derby, while Memphis Tennessee – used as a pacemaker several times last year – made a winning 4-year-old debut in the Group 3 Ormonde Stakes.