05/11/2006 11:00PM

O'Brien brings in a six-pack


While Andre Fabre may be without a runner in either of the French Guineas races at Longchamp on Sunday, Aidan O'Brien is bringing four colts to France for the Poule d'Essai des Poulains (French 2000 Guineas) and two fillies for the Poule d'Essai des Pouliches (French 1000 Guineas), both of which are worth $513,000.

O'Brien has even attracted the services of Fabre's first-string rider, Christophe Soumillon, in the French 2000 Guineas for Marcus Andronicus.

A son of Yellow Ribbon and Ramona winner Fiji, Marcus Andronicus is one of four Danehill colts trained by O'Brien who will run as an entry for Sue Magnier and assorted partners. Second in the Group 3 Greenham Stakes to subsequent 2000 Guineas also-ran Red Clubs, Marcus Andronicus is not the strongest part of the entry.

O'Brien's main man, Kieren Fallon, has selected Aussie Rules as his French 2000 Guineas ride. Out of two-time Group 1 winner Last Second, he should improve off his troubled fourth in the Prix de Fontainebleau, in which he was disqualified to fifth. Juvenile Group 2 winner Ivan Denisovich, just eighth in the Fontainebleau, and pacesetter James Joyce complete the O'Brien team.

Not since 1990 when Saumarez won the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe has trainer Nicolas Clement been on the verge of such big race win. Stormy River's four-length triumph in the one-mile, Group 3 Fontainebleau, a course and distance prep for the Poulains, makes him the one to beat with Thierry Thulliez in the saddle. The Mick Channon-trained Yasoodd could be the spoiler if he can improve off his victory in the Group 3 Leopardstown 2000 Guineas Trial.

O'Brien's pair in the French 1000 Guineas is stronger than his French 2000 Guineas quartet, but the 1000 Guineas is a tougher race. Kamarinskaya, a Storm Cat half-sister to Fasliyev, won the Group 3 Leopardstown 1000 Guineas Trial by two lengths from entrymate Beauty Bright and will be ridden by Fallon. Daltaya won the Pouliches course and distance prep, the Group 3 Prix de la Grotte, but the selection is Mauralakana, the easy winner of the listed Prix Imprudence who is trained by the red hot Jean-Claude Rouget.