04/20/2005 11:00PM

Rivalry renewed at Sandown


The overachieving Norse Dancer will seek his first Group 2 victory in the Sandown Mile at Sandown Park on Saturday. He will renew his rivalry with Hurricane Alan, whom he defeated by a neck in the Group 3 Earl of Sefton Stakes at Newmarket on April 13.

A 5-year-old son of Halling trained by David Elsworth, Norse Dancer has placed in five Group 1 contests, among them the 2000 Guineas and the Irish Champion Stakes. In facing the Richard Hannon-trained Hurricane Alan again, he must overturn the result of last year's Sandown Mile, which Hurricane Alan won, with Norse Dancer 1 1/4 lengths behind in fourth place.

Later on the card, Quiff, winner of the Yorkshire Oaks and runner-up in the St. Leger, will tackle colts in the Group 3, 1 1/4-mile Gordon Richards Stakes. Among her foes will be Bandari, a multiple group winner, and Weightless, the 2003 Prix Dollar winner, who will be making his first start for trainer Amanda Perrett since being transferred from Pascal Bary.

* Paita, the British-bred, Mario Hofer-trained filly who traveled from Germany to France to beat colts in the Group 1 Criterium de Saint-Cloud last November, embarks on her 3-year-old campaign at Cologne on Saturday in the listed Jean Herzheim-Rennen. Now owned by Teruya Yoshida, Paita will use the 1 3/8-mile contest against colts as a springboard to the French Oaks on June 12.