05/13/2007 11:00PM

France: Finsceal Beo upset


Darjina ended Finsceal Beo's hopes for a 1000 Guineas triple at Longchamp, coming with a late run to snatch victory at the wire in the $540,000 Poule d'Essai des Pouliches, the French version of the classic fillies mile.

Jockey Kevin Manning had found a gap on the rail to put Finsceal Beo in front at the three-sixteenths pole but the filly, running after just a week after her stunning victory in the 1000 Guineas at Newmarket last Sunday, couldn't quite last. The 4-1 Darjina , trained by Alain de Royer-Dupre, showed superb acceleration in coming from 11th place in the 13-runner field under Christophe Soumillon to prevail by a head. It was another 1-1/2 lengths back to Rahiyah in third, as British invader Sander Camillo lagged home in eighth, beaten 16-1/2 lengths. The time for the mile on good ground was 1:37.20.

Darjina was always the one Finsceal Beo had to fear. In victory, this daughter of Zamindar was maintaining her undefeated record at 3 for 3, having previously won over the Pouliches course and distance in the Group 3 Prix de la Grotte on April 15. Owned nominally by the Princess Zahra Aga Khan, Darjina was ruled out of the Irish 1000 Guineas by the pricesses's father, the Aga Khan, who will decide with Royer-Dupre whether she will go next in the one-mile Coronation Stakes at Royal Ascot on June 22 or step up to 1 5/16 miles for the Prix de Diane, or French Oaks, at Chantilly on June 10.

Finsceal Beo lost nothing in defeat, and her trainer, Jim Bolger, said that she is still on course for the Irish 1000 at the Curragh on May 27. Her defeat means that Miesque remains the only filly to land the English and French 1000 Guineas double, having done it in 1987, the year she won the first of her two straight Breeders Cup Miles.

A half-hour later, Bolger suffered another heartbreaking defeat when his Creachadoir was beaten by Astronomer Royal in the $540,000 Poule d'Essai des Poulains, or French 2000 Guineas. Running on just six days rest since winning the Group 3 Tetrarch Stakes at the Curragh on Monday, Creachadoir led at the eighth pole but was run down at the 16th-pole by Astronomer Royal, part of a four-pronged 3.40-1 Aidan O'Brien entry. In fact, O'Brien saddled three of the first four home in the Poulains, as his Honoured Guest was third, 1-1/2 lengths behind Creachadoir with Excellent Art fourth, another three-quarters of a length behind. The time for the colts' mile was 1:37.10.

O'Brien said that all three of his Poulains runners are candidates for the one-mile St. James's Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot on June 19.