06/09/2003 12:00AM

Nebraska Tornado wins Prix de Diane

Email

Nebraska Tornado completed a big weekend for Khalid Abdullah with a surprise win in the Prix de Diane at Chantilly on Sunday.

With accolades from Empire Maker's Belmont Stakes triumph still ringing in his ears, the Saudi prince saw Nebraska Tornado extend her unbeaten streak to three in the Group 1 French Oaks with a three-quarter-length victory over British invader Time Ahead. It was another length back to Time Ahead's Andre Fabre-trained stablemate Musical Chimes, while the 6-5 favorite Fidelite was eighth of 10.

Nebraska Tornado had recently taken the listed 1 1/4-mile Prix Melisande but was considered the weaker of the two Fabre fillies, as Musical Chimes was coming off a win in the French 1000 Guineas. Christophe Soumillon opted for Musical Chimes, thus giving Richard Hughes the ride on the winner, who was sent off at 10-1 and covered the 1 5/16 miles in 2:08.10 on good ground.

Nebraska Tornado was always close up in second before assuming command at the quarter pole. Fabre said Nebraska Tornado would be aimed at the Nassau Stakes at Goodwood on Aug. 2 and the Prix de l'Opera at Longchamp on Oct. 5, both 1 1/4-mile Group 1 races for fillies and mares.

Sunday's French Oaks victory was the third for Fabre, who in previous years trained winners Lypharita and Jolypha, the latter also owned by Abdullah.

* Ange Gabriel returned off a 10-week absence to land the Group 2 Grand Prix de Chantilly at odds of 3-5. An Eric Libaud trainee, Ange Gabriel defeated Martaline by 1 1/2 lengths and completed the 1 1/2 miles in 2:27.40.

Ange Gabriel has now won 4 of his last 5, including the Hong Kong Vase. The Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud, the King George, and the Arc are all on his agenda.

* Kris Kin and The Great Gatsby, first and second in Saturday's Epsom Derby, are likely to meet again in the Irish Derby at The Curragh on June 29. However, owner Saeed Suhail, who had to put up a $150,000 supplementary fee to get Kris Kin into the Epsom, would have to ante up an additional $112,000 to get him into the Irish Derby.

Meanwhile, the Aga Khan will choose as his Irish Derby representative either Alamshar, third in the Epsom Derby, or Dalakhani, who won the French Derby.