06/23/2006 11:00PM

Les Arcs wins Golden Jubilee at 33-1


ASCOT, England - Running back on four days' rest proved too tough a task for Takeover Target on Saturday as the bargain-basement sprinter ran third behind longshot winner Les Arcs in the $647,000 Golden Jubilee Stakes, the closing day feature at Royal Ascot.

The winner of Tuesday's King's Stand Stakes, Takeover Target bounded out of the gate under Jay Ford and had a clear lead after a furlong. A raider from Australia, Takeover Target led until just inside the furlong pole, when John Egan brought Les Arcs up along the stands-side rail. The only American-bred in the Group 1 field of 18, Les Arcs disposed of Takeover Target in a matter of strides, then held off the sharp late challenge of 50-1 shot Balthazaar's Gift to emerge a surprise 33-1 winner.

Takeover Target held on for third by a half-length over the fast-closing Ashdown Express. The time for the straight and undulating six furlongs on good to firm ground was 1:13.12.

Takeover Target's taxi-driving owner and trainer Joe Janiak was not downhearted in defeat.

"He's done us proud," Janiak said. "He'll remain in England for the July Cup."

The July Cup is a six-furlong Group 1 at Newmarket on July 12.

Le Arcs, trained by Yorkshire-based Tim Pitt, had finished 11th, just two lengths behind Takeover Target, in the King's Stand. He is a 6-year-old gelded son of Arch. Since Les Arcs finished 2 1/4 lengths ahead of Takeover Target in the Golden Jubilee, there is very little to choose between them.

Bred by Elk Manor Farm and owned by Willie McKay, Les Arcs had done most of his winning in all-weather sprint handicaps at Lingfield and Wolverhampton, although he had taken a listed turf sprint at Redcar three starts back in March. But with a 33-1 winner and a 50-1 runner-up, this Golden Jubilee produced much the same mumbly-jumbly result that is all too customary in British sprint racing.

Stoute runs one-two in Hardwicke

Michael Stoute landed a one-two punch in the $260,000 Group 2 Hardwicke Stakes as Maraahel, ridden by Richard Hills, outgamed Mountain High and Kieren Fallon by a head in a protracted duel in the 1 1/2-mile race for older horses. Stoute trains both horses.

The winner of a Group 3 race at Chester last time, Maraahel had shown potential with third-place

finishes last year behind Electrocutionist in the Juddmonte International and David Junior in the Champion Stakes.

Unsuited to dirt when sixth behind Electrocutionist in the Dubai World Cup, Maraahel - a 5-year-old owned by Maktoum Al Maktoum - is apparently at his best going 1 1/2 miles on firm turf. He covered the distance in 2:29.50 and looks like a prime candidate for a late-season race in North America.

* While Takeover Target failed to win back-to-back starts on a quick turnaround, Baddam succeeded at that task, winning the final race of the final day at Royal Ascot. Winner of the 2 1/2-mile Ascot Handicap on Tuesday, the Mick Channon-trained Baddam got up near the line to

win the Queen Alexandra Stakes, at 2 miles, five furlongs, and 159-yards, by a half-length over Cover Up, who won the race in 2003. It was the first time a horse had pulled off the Ascot/Queen Alexandra double since the mare Mountain Cross did it in 1978.

- Friday's attendance of 60,595 produced a five-day total of 310,967, a 3.3 percent increase over 2004, the last time the royal meeting was held at Ascot. Construction was underway on a new grandstand last year and the meet was held at York.