03/11/2009 11:00PM

New rivalry resumes in Exbury

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Trincot and Loup Breton will renew their budding rivalry at Saint-Cloud on Saturday in the first group race of the European season, the $102,000 Prix Exbury.

The 1 1/4-mile, Group 3 contest will be the third time in succession these two will have faced off. Trincot beat Loup Breton by a head in winning last October's Group 2 Prix Dollar at Longchamp, while Loup Breton finished 3 1/2 lengths in front of Trincot when they ran sixth and 10th in the Hong Kong Cup on Dec. 14.

The preference is for Loup Breton, an Elie Lellouche-trained 5-year-old son of Anabaa who on April 6 won the Group 2 Prix d'Harcourt at the expense of last year's Exbury winner and subsequent Arlington Million winner, Spirit One. The Ecurie Wildenstein color-bearer runs well fresh and gets the nod over Trincot, a 4-year-old son of Peintre Celebre trained by Philippe Demercastel.

The two favorites will both spot from one to 10 pounds to their nine rivals, among whom are the filly Belle et Celebre, the Alain de Royer-Dupre-trained winner last May of the Group 1 Prix Saint-Alary, and Indian Daffodil, the Jean-Claude Rouget-trained winner of the Group 3 Prix Daphnis. Robert Collet will saddle Wingstar, who arrives from Cagnes-sur-Mer off a Feb. 21 victory in a 1 9/16-mile listed race.

* Turf racing returned to the Paris region on March 7 at Saint-Cloud. The Irish turf season gets under way at the Curragh on March 22, while the first day of the British turf season is March 28 at Doncaster.