08/13/2007 12:00AM

Manduro takes Marois mile; Arc or BC Classic on slate


Either the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe or the Breeders' Cup Classic is on Manduro's agenda after the German-bred 5-year-old cruised to an impressive victory in the Group 1, $817,000 Prix Jacques le Marois at Deauville on Sunday. The 4-5 favorite, he defeated Holocene by three lengths. Turtle Bowl was third, a half-length farther back, with the French Derby winner Lawman bringing up the rear. The time for the straight mile on good ground was 1:37.40.

The one-mile Marois may not sound like a conventional prep for the longer races, but Manduro, trained by Andre Fabre, may just be versatile enough to handle the Arc or the Classic. On Sunday, winning for the first time at a mile, he was following up an equally impressive score in the 1o1/4-mile Prince of Wales's Stakes at Royal Ascot.

While expressing some doubt over Manduro's ability to stay the 1 1/2 miles of the Arc, Fabre said that if his Arc prep in the 1 1/2-mile Prix Foy proves that to be the case, Manduro also has the Breeders' Cup Classic at 1o1/4 miles "as an option."

Now 4 for 4 this season, Manduro is still only the second-highest-rated horse in the world behind Invasor. The International Federation of Horseracing Authorities latest world rankings released on Monday peg the now-retired Invasor at 129 with Manduro at 128. They are followed by Dylan Thomas at 127; Authorized 126; Admire Moon, Curlin, Premium Tap and Street Sense all at 125; and Any Given Saturday, Notnowcato and Soldier of Fortune at 124. Peeping Fawn is the highest rated filly at 122 with Rags to Riches at 121.