07/27/2006 11:00PM

French 1000 Guineas stars top Prix d'Astarte


The first three finishers in the French 1000 Guineas, as well as Falmouth Stakes winner Rajeem, were entered in Sunday's Group 1, $317,000 Prix d'Astarte for fillies and mares at Deauville.

A Clive Brittain-trained daughter of Diktat, Rajeem got away with a slow early pace in the Group 1 Falmouth to defeat the classy older distaffers Soviet Song and Peeress. She quickened very well that day and is likely to find the usual early French crawl at Deauville to her advantage. Kerrin McEvoy has the ride aboard Rajeem, who had previously finished fifth in the Coronation Stakes at Royal Ascot.

In the Coronation, Rajeem finished ahead of Price Tag, the first-place finisher in the French 1000 Guineas before being disqualified. Tie Black, who was awarded the race, will be making her first start since then, so a greater danger may be Impressionnante, the French 1000 runner-up and subsequent Group 2 Prix de Sandringham winner. Impressionnante is back with her own sex after finishing sixth in the Group 1 Prix Jean Prat.

The Aga Khan entry of Grand Vadla and Mandesha will play a prominent role. The better of the two older fillies in the field of 11 is In Clover, a Freddy Head-trained Deauville specialist who won last year's listed Prix de Lieurey over the Astarte course and distance.

- The Group 1, $197,000 Bayerisches Zuchtrennen at 1 1/4 miles at Munich has drawn an evenly matched field of five, including Group 1 winner Laverock; Group 2 winners Arcadio and Fight Club; and a pair of dangerous 3-year-olds - Lord of England, who trounced older horses in a Dortmund Group 3 last month, and German Oaks winner Almerita.