08/10/2007 12:00AM

Lawman facing Manduro


Manduro, the highest-rated older horse in Europe, will square off against France's leading 3-year-old, Lawman, in the Group 1, $820,000 Prix Jacques le Marois over the straight mile at Deauville on Sunday.

Trained by Andre Fabre, Manduro has done nothing wrong this season, winning the Group 3 Earl of Sefton Stakes and the Group 1 Prix d'Ispahan, both at 1 1/8 miles, before slamming subsequent Group 1 winners Dylan Thomas and Notnowcato in the 1 1/4-mile Group 1 Prince of Wales's Stakes at Royal Ascot.

Some are questioning Fabre's decision to drop Manduro, a 5-year-old German-bred son of Monsun, back to a mile, but the master French trainer defended his move by pointing out that Manduro was unlucky when he placed behind Librettist in last year's Jacques le Marois as well as in the one-mile Group 1 Prix du Moulin de Longchamp three weeks later.

In Lawman he will be facing the winner of the 1 5/16-mile French Derby who successfully handled a similar cutback in distance to take the one-mile Group 1 Prix Jean Prat last time on July 8. Trained by Jean-Marie Beguigne, Lawman is an Invincible Spirit colt who, like Manduro, is seeking his fourth win in a row. Olivier Peslier rides Lawman while Stephane Pasquier will be on Manduro.

Should the big two falter, Turtle Bowl can pick up the pieces. The Francois Rohaut-trained mare won the Jean Prat two years ago and was just a head third to Ramonti last time in Royal Ascot's one-mile Group 1 Queen Anne Stakes. Stormy River, recent winner of the Group 3 Prix Messidor going a mile at Maisons-Laffitte, has a chance for a share.