05/23/2008 12:00AM

Nahoodh trying Irish Guineas


Trainer Michael Channon complained bitterly after the 1000 Guineas at Newmarket three weeks ago that his fifth-place finisher, Nahoodh, would have won had she not been blocked at the sixteenth pole. On Sunday she will have her chance at redemption in the $631,000 Irish 1000 Guineas at the Curragh.

Beaten just 1 1/4 lengths at Newmarket, Nahoodh will not have to deal with the first two home that day, as Natagora and Spacious are both skipping this one-mile fillies classic. She still faces a stern challenge from Saoirse Abu, who was third in the 1000 Guineas. Trained by Jim Bolger, Saoirse Abu won the Group 1 Phoenix Stakes last summer over this year's 2000 Guineas winner, Henrythenavigator.

Aidan O'Brien will saddle four fillies in search of a race he won with Imagine in 2001 and Yesterday in 2003. His first-string rider, Johnny Murtagh, has chosen Kitty Matcham, ninth at Newmarket, but Halfway to Heaven, recently third to the indomitable Zarkava in the French 1000 Guineas, may have a better chance with Jamie Heffernan on board. The wild card is the Dermot Weld-trained Carribean Sunset, the winner of two Group 3 Guineas preps at Leopardstown this spring.

* Pascal Bary announced Friday that Natagora would run next not in the one-mile Coronation Stakes at Royal Ascot against her own sex, but in the 1 5/16-mile Prix du Jockey-Club (French Derby) at Chantilly next Sunday.

A Divine Light filly, Natagora beat colts in three stakes races last year, but all of those were at distances between five and 5 1/2 furlongs.