03/06/2006 12:00AM

Ground key at Saint-Cloud

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Special Kaldoun will use the first European group race of the season, Wednesday's Group 3 Prix Exbury, as his Dubai Duty Free prep. A six-time group race winner in France, Special Kaldoun will have to overcome three other stakes winners in the $96,300 Exbury, which will be run at 1 1/4 miles on very heavy ground at Saint-Cloud

Geordieland, winner of the 1 1/2-mile Group 2 Grand Prix de Chantilly last June, is a threat. Kendor Dine was a Group 3 winner last year, while Gold Sound won the 1 1/8-mile Group 3 Prix de Guiche at Longchamp last May but has looked dull since.

Kendor Dine's victory in the Prix La Force and his third in the Prix Guillaume d'Ornano both came on very soft ground, so he may be more at home than the others in Saint-Cloud's testing conditions.