04/05/2011 12:03PM

Helleborine auditions for English 1000 Guineas in Prix Imprudence


Criquette Head-Maarek will test the English 1000 Guineas waters at Maisons-Laffitte on Thursday with Helleborine in the Group 3, $113,000 Prix Imprudence over a straight seven furlongs.

Head-Maarek has won this race 10 times in the past with Ma Biche and Ravinella also having won the English 1000. Of her two other 1000 Guineas winners, Hatoof finished second in the Imprudence and Special Duty third.

An Observatory filly bred and owned by Khalid Abdullah, Helleborine made it 3 for 3 when winning the one-mile, Group 3 Prix d’Aumale at Deauville before finishing second to Misty For Me in the one-mile, Group 1 Prix Marcel Boussac last time on Oct. 3. Stephane Pasquier will ride.

Criquette’s brother Freddie Head will saddle Moonlight Cloud for owner George Strawbridge. Midnight Cloud lost her unbeaten record when fourth as the favorite against colts in the Group 1 Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere on Oct. 3. Mambia, trained by Jean-Claude Rouget for Martin Schwartz, was fourth in the Marcel Boussac following a win in the seven-furlong, Group 3 Prix du Calvados at Deauville, while the Franco Rossi-trained Izalia is coming off a Nov. 1 victory in the Group 3 Prix Miesque going seven furlongs at Maisons-Lafitte.

The colt equivalent of the Imprudence is the Group 3 Prix Djebel. The much-used Redemptor landed the listed seven-furlong Prix Montenica on the Deauville Fibresand last out on March 11 when his Djebel rival Captain Chop was second, 1 1/2 lengths behind. The preference, however, is for Havane Smoker, a Dubawi colt trained by Jean-Claude Rouget.

Havane Smoker won his first three starts at 2, working his way up the ladder from Toulouse to Mont-de-Marsan to Deauville before finishing second to French Navy in the one-mile, Group 3 Prix des Chenes at Longchamp. Last time on Oct. 31, he was unsuited by the heavy ground at Saint-Cloud when seventh to Roderic O’Connor in the Group 1 Criterium International. Ioritz Mendizabal has the call.

Olivier Peslier will ride Surfrider for Eric Libaud. A Deauville maiden winner first time out in August, Surfrider was most recently third, beaten a half-length, in a one-mile Deauville Fibresand allowance which was won by War Pact, a Rouget trainee who will have a tentative Kentucky Derby prep in the listed Prix de Suresnes at Maisons-Laffitte on April 18.