05/09/2008 12:00AM

Longchamp: Zarkava appears invincible


Zarkava is the one to beat in the $616,000 Poule d'Essai des Pouliches, or French 1000 Guineas, at Longchamp on Sunday. Unbeaten with two course and distance victories already under her belt, the Aga Khan's latest super filly needs only a clear run to win.

A daughter of Zamindar, Zarkava was a handy winner last fall of the Group 1 Prix Marcel Boussac and trotted up last month in the Group 3 Prix de la Grotte, suggesting that nothing can beat her over the Longchamp mile. Alain de Royer-Dupre will give Christophe Soumillon a leg up in what should prove a perfect prep for the 1 5/16-mile Prix de Diane, or French Oaks, at Chantilly on June 8.

Among others in the race are Conference Call, who was second to Zarkava in both the Marcel Boussac and the Prix de la Grotte; her Juddmonte entrymate Modern Look, who was second to subsequent 2000 Guineas winner Natagora in the listed Prix Imprudence last month; and the George Strawbridge-owned Destare, an allowance-winning half-sister to two-time Group 1 winner Montare.

The Pouliches shares top billing on the Longchamp card with the $616,000 Poule d'Essai des Poulains, or French 2000 Guineas, in which most of the top contenders have drawn wide in the 19-runner field.

Thewayyouare, winner of the Group 1 Criterium International on Nov. 1, makes his first start since then from post 15. He is using the French 2000 as a prep for either the Epsom or French derbies. Tamayuz won the Poulains course and distance prep, the Group 3 Prix de Fontainebleau. He breaks from 17, while Godolphin's main hope, Group 1 Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere winner Rio de la Plata, will make his first start of the season from post 16.

Supplementary entry Paco Boy is coming off a win in Newbury's Group 3 Greenham Stakes. Godolphin's Il Warrd tries the Polytrack-to-turf switch after a win in Kempton's listed Easter Stakes. American hopes lie in Earle Mack's Jean-Claude Rouget-trained Yorktown and William Preston's Henri-Alex Pantall-trained Blue Chagall. The best of Aidan O'Brien's three entries could be listed winner Georgebernardshaw.

* Tajaweed, a Dynaformer colt trained by Michael Stoute for Hamdan al-Maktoum, presented his Epsom Derby credentials at Chester on Friday, defeating Unnefer in the 1 1/4-mile Group 3 Dee Stakes.