07/13/2008 11:00PM

Montmartre dazzles in Paris


A star was born at Longchamp on Monday as Montmartre crushed a high-class field of 3-year-olds in the Group 1, $955,000 Grand Prix de Paris. So impressive was the victory that Ladbrokes immediately installed Montmartre as its new 4-1 favorite for the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe.

A son of Montjeu trained by Alain de Royer-Dupre, Montmartre was always up near the pace in the 12-furlong contest. Christophe Soumillon put him on the lead at the quarter pole, and he quickly went clear and on to a comfortable four-length victory over the Group 2 Prix Greffulhe winner Prospect Wells with longshot Magadan third and Epsom Derby fourth Doctor Fremantle filling fourth again, seven lengths behind the winner.

Montmartre, who had followed a disappointing run in the French Derby with a course-and-distance victory in the Group 3 Prix du Lys on June 19, covered the 1 1/2 miles on good ground in 2:26.20 as the 2.40-1 favorite.- Alan Shuback covered the 1 1/2 miles on good ground in 2:26.20 as the 2.40-1 favorite.

Montmartre is now likely to be given a break until returning to Longchamp on Sept. 14 for the Group 2 Prix Niel, the Arc prep for 3-year-olds. Royer-Dupre could be loaded for the Arc, as he also trains the Princess Zahra Aga Khan's 5-1 Arc second choice, Zarkava, who goes next in the Prix Vermeille on the same day as the Prix Niel.