10/17/2002 12:00AM

Godolphin has eye on Champion Stakes


Godolphin will attempt to win the $620,000 Champion Stakes at Newmarket on Saturday with a three-pronged entry of Equerry, Moon Ballad and Noverre.

And in the 7-furlong Group 1 Dewhurst Stakes, the Aidan O'Brien-trained Tomahawk is poised to take his chance along with Ontario and Marino Marini, an indication that the Irish conditioner will be represented in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile by Hold That Tiger and Van Nistelrooy.

The Emirate of Dubai is the official sponsor of the Champion Stakes, so the Maktoums have a vested interest in winning the Group 1 contest, which is run over straight 1 1/4 miles. Of their three Godolphin entries, Moon Ballad appears to be the sharpest right now.

The 3-year-old son of Singspiel won the Group 2 Dante Stakes prior to finishing a distant third behind High Chaparral and Hawk Wing in the Epsom Derby. He is coming off an easy score in the 1 1/4-mile Group 3 Select Stakes and with Jamie Spencer in the saddle, looks ready for a winning effort.

Noverre, the mount of Frankie Dettori, is returning to England after a dull sixth in the Atto Mile but would threaten on his sharp third behind Nayef and Golan in the Juddmonte International. Equerry, unbeaten in his first five races, was found out when fourth in a German Group 1 on Aug. 4.

Henry Cecil will saddle his Group 2 Prix Eugene Adam winner Burning Sun. The Danzig 3-year-old defeated the Brian Meehan-trained Kaieteur by three quarters of a length that day, but Kaieteur bounced back to take the Group 1 Bayerisches Zuchtrennen in which Equerry was fourth.

In the Dewhurst, six-furlong Group 1 Middle Park Stakes runner-up Tomahawk faces a challenge from Group 2 Royal Lodge winner Al Jadeed. But the latter is dropping back from a mile for trainer John Gosden and may find the Dewhurst a little too quick. The David Loder-trained Dublin is a Group 3 winner at the distance but was only third last time in the 7-furlong Group 1 National Stakes at the Curragh.

A fourth O'Brien trainee cannot be overlooked. Great Pyramid, a full brother to last year's Dewhurst winner Rock Of Gibraltar, was just 2-1/2 lengths behind Hold That Tiger when sixth in the Grand Criterium and has a license to improve.