08/06/2005 11:00PM

George Washington much the best in Phoenix Stakes


George Washington assumed command of the European 2-year-old colt division with an eyecatching 8-length romp in the $366,000 Group 1 Phoenix Stakes at the Curragh on Sunday.

The imperious performance of the 8-13 favorite left no doubt as to who was boss on the day. Patiently ridden by Kieren Fallon, the Danehill juvenile had a path cleared for him by his pacesetting stablemate Amadeus Mozart, whose rider Seamus Heffernan moved off the rail to make sure the winner had plenty of room to get through. Amadeus Moazrt came home second, 2-1/2 lengths in front of Group 2 Coventry Stakes winner Red Clubs. The first two are both trained by Aidan O'Brien, who was winning this key 6-furlong juvenile event for the seventh time in the last eight years. The winning time on good ground was 1:12.72.

George Washington, whom O'Brien termed "special", had previously won the 6-furlong Group 2 Railway Stakes over the same course and distance. A half brother to three-time Group 1 winner Grandera, he was bred in Ireland by Grandera's original owners at Lael Stables. O'Brien stated that while many options were open to George Washington, it is possible that he would not run again this year. Meanwhile, Ladbrokes has lowered his favorite's price for next year's 2000 Guineas from 14-1 to 7-1.

Rumplestiltskin wins Debutante Stakes

O'Brien, Fallon and Danehill landed a second success when Rumplestiltskin scored a 2-length victory over Modeeroch in the $152,000 Group 2 Debutante Stakes for juvenile fillies. A full sister to Kingmambo and Miesque's Son and a half to East of the Moon, Rumplestiltskin got the 7 furlongs in 1:27.95 as the 11-8 favorite.

At Deauville, Whipper improved on his second-place finish in last year's Group 1 Prix Maurice de Gheest with a half-length victory in the $244,000, 6-1/2-furlong sprint. Ridden by Christophe Soumillon for trainer Robert Collet, the Miesque's Son half brother to French 1000 Guineas and French Oaks winner Divine Prroportions held off the late challenge of British invader Goodricke as the 1.30-1 choice, getting the straight 6-1/2 furlongs in 1:17.10 on good ground. Last year's winner Somnus was tenth, six lengths behind the victorious 4-year-old who was bred in Kentucky by Flaxman Holdings and is owned by Robert Strauss.

Whipper will return to Deauville next Sunday when he seeks a repeat victory in the one-mile Group 1 Prix Jacques le Marois in which he will clash with his half sister Divine Proportions as well as Group 1 mile winners Valixir and Dubawi.

The recently deceased German stallion Acatenango scored a coup in the Group 2 Prix de Pomone when his fillies Diamond Tango and Guadalajara finished one-two, separated by 1 1/2 lengths. The 6.40-1 Diamond Tango, trained by Andre Fabre for the Aga Khan, gave Soumillon his second group race tally of the day while traveling the 1 9/16 miles in 2:46.30.