07/13/2005 11:00PM

Scorpion triumphs in Grand Prix de Paris


Scorpion stung the French on their national holiday with a record-setting victory in the Group 1, $603,000 Grand Prix de Paris at Longchamp on Thursday.

The Bastille Day triumph of Scorpion, an Aidan O'Brien-trained Irish invader, provided the 1 1/2-mile Longchamp course with a new record of 2:24.30, three-tenths of a second faster than the old mark set by Peintre Celebre in the 1997 Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe. Second by a half-length to Hurricane Run in the Irish Derby last time on June 26, Scorpion repelled the late bid of Desideratum to win the Grand Prix de Paris by 2 1/2 lengths. Orion Star was another two lengths back in third, with British invader and Royal Ascot Group 2 winner Plea Bargain fourth.

Sent off as the 3-2 second choice behind Sheikh Mohammed's odds-on entry of Desideratum and Plea Bargain, Scorpion appeared to be in a class by himself in a Grand Prix de Paris that was being run for the first time over 12 furlongs. Under Kieren Fallon, Scorpion led entering the stretch 2 1/2 furlongs from home, but only set about his business when turning back the challenge of Desideratum.

Like Epsom Derby winner Motivator and Hurricane Run, Scorpion is a son of Montjeu, whose first crop are currently 3-year-olds. With Scorpion having taken the Grand Prix de Paris, sons of Montjeu have won Europe's three most important 1 1/2-mile races for 3-year-olds. That trio now occupies the top three places with Ladbrokes in the betting for the Oct. 2 Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe: Hurricane Run is at 3-1, Motivator at 4-1, and Scorpion at 6-1.