10/24/2002 11:00PM

Morozov heads Royal-Oak


Sunday's highlight in France is the Group 1 Prix Royal-Oak at Longchamp, the French equivalent of the English St Leger, over 1 15/16 miles. The race has attracted a field of seven.

Morozov, a full brother to Breeders' Cup Turf winner In the Wings, is the likely favorite following his win in a Group 2 over the course and distance at the Arc de Triomphe meeting. Trained by Andre Fabre, he is a deserving favorite but will find the heavy going much more demanding than it was in early October.

Heading his opposition is the 5-year-old Cut Quatz, who has improved markedly for trainer Richard Gibson since stretching out to long distances in the summer. He followed a Group 2 win with a gutsy third in the 2 1/2-mile Group 1 Prix du Cadran on Arc day, and it would be no surprise to see him win.

Morozov and Cut Quatz are a cut above the field, but the best of the rest looks to be the 3-year-old filly Bernimixa, also from the Fabre yard. Already a Group 2 winner, she will take full advantage if the top two slip up.