07/01/2016 1:25PM

Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud a virtual sprint for Vazirabad

Andrew Watkins/Dubai Racing Club
Vazirabad wins the Dubai Gold Cup earlier this year.

Vazirabad has been the dominant stayer in France and Dubai in the last year, winning seven consecutive group stakes at distances ranging from 1 11/16 miles to two miles. Sunday, the 4-year-old Vazirabad will start in his shortest race in more than a year in the $445,480 Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud at 1 1/2 miles on turf in Paris.

Vazirabad, trained by Alain de Royer-Dupre for the Aga Khan, is part of a field of 11 in the Group 1 Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud. This will be the third start of the year for Vazirabad, who won the Group 2 Dubai Gold Cup at two miles on March 26 and the Group 2 Prix Vicomtesse Vigier at 1 15/16 miles at Saint-Cloud on May 29.

Last fall, Vazirabad won the Group 1 Prix Royal-Oak at 1 15/16 miles at Longchamp in his final start of the year. Christophe Soumillon has ridden Vazirabad for six of the seven wins of the streak and has the mount on Sunday.

The competition is led by Erupt, who was fifth in the 2015 Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe and is winless in four starts since winning the Group 1 Grand Prix de Paris at Longchamp last July.

Other prominent runners are Eagle Top, who was second in the Group 1 King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot last July; Silverware, third in a strong running of the Group 1 Prix d’Ispahan at Chantilly on May 24; and Siljan’s Saga, a 6-year-old mare who beat males in the Grand Prix de Deauville last August.

The Saint-Cloud program includes the $144,781 Prix de Malleret, a Group 2 race for 3-year-old fillies at 1 1/2 miles on turf. Gambissara, second in the Group 2 Italian Oaks on May 29, tries to win her first group stakes against seven rivals. The Prix de Malleret field includes the stakes debut of the Kentucky-bred Deremah, by More Than Ready, who races for the Aga Khan and de Royer-Dupre.