07/10/2008 12:00AM

Lucarno wires Princess of Wales's at Newmarket


Lucarno returned to the form that won him the classic St. Leger Stakes last fall as he led throughout to take the Group 2, $198,000 Group 2 Princess of Wales's Stakes at Newmarket on Thursday.

Trained by John Gosden for his breeder, George Strawbridge, the 4-year-old son of Dynaformer was given a brilliant ride by Jimmy Fortune to defeat the fast-closing defending title-holder and 2-1 favorite, Papal Bull, by 1 1/4 lengths despite carrying a five-pound penalty for his Group 1 St. Leger triumph.

Longshot Petara Bay was third, while Anna Pavlova, winner last Saturday of the Lancashire Oaks, trailed in last, 15 lengths behind.

Sent off at 6-1, Lucarno covered the 1 1/2 miles on good to soft ground in 2:33.37. Gosden mentioned the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes, the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe, and the Japan Cup as possibilities for Lucarno, who had finished unplaced in his first two starts this season.

* Ramonti will make his much-anticipated return to the races at Ascot on Saturday in the Group 2, $198,000 Summer Mile Stakes. Three times a Group 1 mile winner last year, he will be making his first start since having won the 1 1/4-mile Hong Kong Cup on Dec. 7. His owners, Godolphin Racing, could hardly have picked a more difficult Group 2 for Ramonti's reappearance, as he will be challenged by the Mike de Kock-trained Archipenko, the winner of the Group 2 Al Fahidi Fort mile in Dubai who stepped up to win the 1 1/4-mile Group 1 Queen Elizabeth II Cup last time at Sha Tin.

Cesare, 1 1/4 lengths fourth in both the Queen Anne Stakes and the Lockinge Stakes, and Pressing, an Italian Group 1 mile winner, will have their say, as will Elusive Warning, Godolphin's unlucky Godolphin Mile runner-up who will be making his turf debut.