11/01/2004 1:00AM

Helios Quercus wins Criterium


Helios Quercus remained undefeated through five starts with a 1 1/2-length tally in the Group 1 Criterium International at Saint-Cloud on Sunday.

Helios Quercus (5-1) had no trouble holding off the mild late run of the British filly Dubai Surprise, getting the mile on very soft ground in 1:45.30. Meanwhile, the 11-10 favorite, Early March, clearly uncomfortable with the ground, finished sixth, 7 1/2 lengths behind the winner.

Winning trainer Cyriaque Diard said that the French Derby next June will be the early 2005 target for Helios Quercus.