06/09/2004 11:00PM

Russian Rhythm withdrawn

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Russian Rhythm was withdrawn from the Queen Anne Stakes at Thursday's five-day entry stage, thus denying opening-day fans at Royal Ascot next Tuesday a chance to see her run against the top French fillies Six Perfections and Nebraska Tornado.

Trainer Michael Stoute removed Russian Rhythm, a four-time Group 1 winning filly, from the one-mile contest because of missed work after she had run a temperature following her victory in the Lockinge Stakes at Newbury on May 15. Many considered her to be a bit lucky to have beaten Six Perfections in last year's 1000 Guineas, and the $450,000 Group 1 Queen Anne had been expected to be a classic rematch between the two. The French fillies could now face another top filly in Soviet Song, as well as Hong Kong invader Bowman's Crossing.

* Tuesday's one-mile Group 1 St. James's Palace Stakes for 3-year-olds is shaping up as a contest between the 2000 Guineas winner, Haafhd; the Irish 2000 Guineas winner, Bachelor Duke; and the French 2000 Guineas runner-up, Diamond Green.