06/22/2007 12:00AM

Mandesha taking on males at Saint-Cloud


Mandesha puts her glittering four-race winning streak on the line at Saint-Cloud on Sunday when she takes on males for the first time in the Group 1, $535,000 Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud.

A winner at the Grand Prix distance of 1 1/2 miles at the Group 1 level when she landed the Prix Vermeille in September, Mandesha was less than brilliant in her seasonal debut on May 30, when she won the Group 2 Prix Corrida against fillies and mares over the same course and distance she will encounter on Sunday.

A daughter of Desert Style trained by Alain de Royer-Dupre, she and her rider, Christophe Soumillon, had to work hard that day to defeat Macleya by three-quarters of a length. While she should certainly improve for that effort, she will be facing some stouthearted rivals Sunday.

Mandesha faces challenges from three geographical fronts. From England comes Youmzain, a Group 1 winner in Germany trained by Michael Channon. He has been third in his last two starts, in the Tattersalls Gold Cup behind Notnowcato and Dylan Thomas, as well as in the Dubai Sheema Classic. From Ireland comes the Aidan O'Brien-trained Mountain High, who was third in the Grand Prix de Chantilly last time. Most dangerous of all may be German invader Prince Flori. He won last September's Group 1 Grosser Preis von Baden and is fresh from victory in the 1 3/8-mile Group 2 Grosser Mercedes-Benz-Preis.