05/27/2005 11:00PM

North Light makes '05 bow


North Light is scheduled to make his seasonal debut on Tuesday night in the 1 1/4-mile Group 3 Brigadier Gerard Stakes at Sandown Park.

North Light, trained by Michael Stoute, has run only twice since winning the Epsom Derby last June 5. Second to Grey Swallow in the Irish Derby, he later finished a game fifth behind Bago after battling for the lead in the Oct. 3 Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe. That race came off a three-month layoff.

Stoute has chosen this spot for North Light's return rather than the tougher Group 1 Coronation Cup at Epsom next Friday over the Derby course and distance. With just six career starts under his belt, North Light is expected to show improvement this season and should be able to handle Mubtaker, the oft-injured multiple group winner who is making his first start since finishing fourth to Sulamani in the Canadian International last Oct. 24.

Also on the Sandown card is the five-furlong Group 2 Temple Stakes in which Group 1 Prix de l'Abbaye de Longchamp winner Var will make his first start of the year. Var was trained by Bill Mott in the U.S. but has been with Clive Brittain since last spring. Frankie Dettori will be in the saddle.

Abbaye runner-up The Tatling is back, while the 3-year-old Etlaala, once considered a prime prospect for the 2000 Guineas, is being sent back to sprinting by trainer Barry Hills.