08/20/2001 11:00PM

Sakhee scores big at York


Sakhee entered the fall championship picture with a seven-length thrashing of a high-class Juddmonte International field at York on Tuesday.

Switched by Hamdan Al Maktoum from the yard of John Dunlop to Saeed bin Suroor's Godolphin stable following an injury-shortened 3-year-old campaign, Sakhee brushed aside seven rivals in this 1 1/4-mile, 85-yard Group 1 race as if taking a mid-afternoon stroll.

Backed down to 7-4 (1.75-1) favoritism, Sakhee led at the three-eighths pole and cruised home under a hand ride from Frankie Dettori, clocking 2:08.27 on good ground.

Grandera, still without a group race victory, was second, with multiple Group 1 winner Medicean a length behind him in third. Black Minnaloushe, a two-time Group 1 winner this season, was fourth, while Distant Music, owned by the race's sponsor, faded to fifth.

Second to Sinndar in the 2000 Epsom Derby, Sakhee had injured a muscle when he ran fourth in the Eclipse Stakes a month later. A son of Bahri, Sakhee returned to action for Godolphin with a three-length score over Aldwych in a listed race on July 21. His ultimate goal is the 1 1/4-mile Group 1 Champion Stakes at Newmar-ket on Oct. 20.

On the same card, the Aidan O'Brien-trained Milan (6-1) reversed the form of the King Edward VII Stakes with a 1 1/2-length victory over even-money choice Storming Home in the 1 1/2-mile Group 2 Great Voltigeur Stakes and will now be pointed to the St. Leger Stakes on Sept. 15. In the listed seven-furlong Acomb Stakes, Juddmonte's Michael Stoute-trained colt Comfy, a Lear Fan juvenile, impressed with a two-length tally over Asheer at 7-2 in the fast time of 1:23.09.

Mozart favored in Nunthorpe

Mozart will be an odds-on favorite to give trainer Aidan O'Brien his 12th Group 1 success of the year in the five-furlong Nunthorpe Stakes at York on Thursday. Mozart has shown a flair for sprinting this summer, with victories in the seven-furlong Jersey Stakes and the six-furlong July Cup. He will be challenged by late-running defending champ Nuclear Debate and Cork and Orrery winner Harmonic Way, who could manage only 12th in the July Cup.