03/11/2003 1:00AM

Oaks wanna-bes in Dubai


Ashraaf, Gonfilia, and Mezzo Soprano, three of Godolphin's eight nominees to the Kentucky Oaks, will face off in the $250,000 UAE 1000 Guineas at Nad Al Sheba Thursday night.

Ashraaf may have a conditioning edge over her six rivals in the one-mile dirt stakes. A maiden winner at Arlington in September, Ashraaf was a distant second behind the UAE Oaks-bound Danuta in the Moonshell Mile on Feb. 20. Ashraaf finished a half-length in front of the Chilean-bred Escania, who also goes in the Guineas.

But Frankie Dettori has chosen to ride Gonfilia, a German-bred filly who was bought by Godolphin after two six-length victories in her native land last fall. Mezzo Soprano, a Kentucky-bred daughter of Darshaan, won at first asking at Deauville last August.

The danger is Anyaas, who like the Godolphin fillies is trained by Saeed bin Suroor. Anyaas, the recent winner of a 7 1/2-furlong maiden race, is owned by Hadi Al Tajir.