06/08/2006 11:00PM

Germance tops Prix Diane


Germance will put her perfect record on the line at Chantilly on Sunday when she takes on 15 fellow 3-year-old fillies in the $1 million Prix de Diane, or French Oaks.

A Kentucky-bred daughter of Silver Hawk trained by Jean-Claude Rouget, Germance has prepped with victories in the Group 3 Prix Penelope at the Diane distance of 1 5/16 miles and in the Group 1 Prix Saint-Alary at 1 1/4 miles. In both cases she beat Sanaya and Alix Road, and while those two will try her again on Sunday, neither is likely to be third-time lucky.

Germance will have the pacesetting services of stablemate Keladora, who should make the lead from post 2. It must be noted, however, that Germance has drawn unfavorably wide in 15.

Sanaya and her entrymate Daltaya are both trying to pull off a classic double for their owner, the Aga Khan, and trainer, Alain de Royer-Dupre, who teamed to win the French Derby last Sunday with Darsi. Should either filly win on Sunday, it would be the first time an owner-trainer combination has won both the French Derby and Oaks in the same year since Marcel Boussac and Charlie Elliot did it in 1956.

Andre Fabre will saddle the Group 3 Prix Cleopatre winner, Alloway, in the Diane. A British-bred Rahy filly, she beat Sanaya in the 1 5/16-mile Cleopatre on May 1 and has been freshened since. With Stephane Pasquier aboard, Alloway poses the biggest threat to Germance.

* Fabre announced Friday that Shirocco, recent winner of the Group 1 Coronation Cup, would skip the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Diamond Stakes at Ascot on July 29. After consulting with Shirocco's owner, Baron Georg von Ullmann, Fabre decided that Shirocco, winner of the Breeders' Cup Turf last year, would be rested until the fall, when his prime goal will be the Oct. 1 Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe, a race in which he finished fourth last year.