04/09/2010 12:00AM

Prix Noailles a tough route to figure

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The Group 2, $173,000, Prix Noailles at Longchamp on Sunday is the first major step to the French Derby, but with few French 2-year-olds having distinguished themselves at a mile or beyond last year, it is difficult to say how important a classic prep this 1 5/16-mile contest will prove to be.

Laristan and Tenacious Spring will both be making their stakes race debuts off three-race winning streaks. Trained by Jean-Claude Rouget for the Aga Khan, Laristan is a son of Epsom and Irish Derby winner Sinndar. His last two victories came at 1 1/4 miles on the synthetic track at Deauville, the most recent of them on March 18. A perfect 3 for 3 lifetime for trainer Thierry Lemer, Tenacious Spring took a 1 1/4-mile Saint-Cloud allowance on March 8 and should be suited by the soft ground.

Rewilding should live up to the promise he showed in his second outing last November for Andre Fabre when he won a one-mile allowance at Maisons-Laffitte. A Tiger Hill half brother to six stakes winners - among them Dar Re Mi. recent winner of the Dubai Sheema Classic - Rewilding is owned by Godolphin and will be ridden by the talented young Maxime Guyon.

Paris Vegas, a Kentucky-bred son of Maria's Mon trained by Francois Chappet, won twice on the synthetic track at Cagnes-sur-Mer this winter, most recently in the listed 1 1/4-mile Prix Policeman.

Cutlass Bay could give Godolphin, Fabre, and Guyon a big double if the undefeated son of Halling prevails in the Group 2, $173,000, Prix d'Harcourt at 1 5/16 miles for older horses. Out of action since beating stablemate Cavalryman in the Group 2 Prix Greffulhe on May 12, he may hold an edge over On Est Bien, who has not run since winning the Group 3 Prix de Flore a year ago, and the filly Celimene, who returns off an Oct. 28 score in the Group 3 Prix de Flore.