05/12/2003 12:00AM

France: Three Group 1's for Soumillon

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Christophe Soumillon rode three Group 1 winners at Longchamp on Sunday - aboard Dalakhani in the Prix Lupin, Clodovil in the French 2000 Guineas, and Musical Chimes in the French 1000 Guineas.

Soumillon's feat matched that of Johnny Murtagh on Arc Day 2000, when Murtagh rode Sinndar, Petrushka, and Namid to win the Arc, the Prix de l'Opera, and the Prix de l'Abbaye.

Dalakhani's one-length victory over Super Celebre in the 1 5/16-mile Lupin was the most significant of the day. Now unbeaten in five starts, Dalakhani will be a strong favorite for the Prix du Jockey-Club (French Derby) at Chantilly on June 1. Dalakhani, the 4-5 favorite, was clocked in 2:09.40.

Soumillon guided the 2-1 choice Clodovil through traffic for a one-length victory over the fast-closing Catcher in the Rye in the Poule d'Essai des Poulains (French 2000 Guineas). Trained by Andre Fabre for the Lagardere family, Clodovil was coming off a victory in the key Poulains prep, the Group 3 Prix de Fontainebleau. Fabre said that Clodovil will take on the best 3-year-old milers from Britain and Ireland in the St. James's Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot on June 17.

Musical Chimes gave Fabre and Soumillon a classic double in the Poule d'Essai Pouliches (French 1000 Guineas) with a one-length win over Maiden Tower. Musical Chimes was timed in 1:36.00 for the mile. Musical Chimes is not nominated to the Coronation Stakes, the filly equivalent of the St. James's Palace. Michael Goodbody, racing manager for her owner, Maktoum Al Maktoum, said that she could be sent to America later this year for a try on dirt.

* Alamshar's head victory over The Great Gatsby in the Group 2 Derrinstown Stud Derby Trial at Leopardstown failed to impress the bookmakers, who eased Alamshar out to 9-2 for the Epsom Derby. The disappointment of the race was the Aidan O'Brien-trained Brian Boru, who was just up for third, 2 1/2 lengths behind Alamshar, who got the 1 1/4-miles in 2:07.40 on good to yielding ground.

* At the Capannelle in Rome, Rakti returned from a six-month absence to win the 1 1/4-mile Group 1 Premio Presidente della Repubblica by a neck over Tigertail.