09/11/2003 11:00PM

Showdown at Curragh


One Cool Cat and Pearl of Love meet at The Curragh on Sunday in the National Stakes, a seven-furlong Group 1 contest that could produce the leader of the European 2-year-old division.

One Cool Cat, the highest-rated juvenile in Europe by dint of his victory over Old Deuteronomy and Three Valleys in the Group 1 Phoenix Stakes going six furlongs at The Curragh on Aug. 10, will face a stern challenge from Pearl of Love, who was a 3 1/2-length winner over Tumblebrutus in the Group 2 Futurity Stakes over the same seven furlongs as the National.

Aidan O'Brien will give a leg up to Michael Kinane on One Cool Cat, a son of Storm Cat whose three victories include the Group 3 Angelsey Stakes. Darryll Holland has the assignment aboard the Mark Johnston-trained Pearl of Love, a Peintre Celebre colt who has won the listed Chesham Stakes at Royal Ascot.

Should Pearl of Love prevail, he would be paying a compliment to the O'Brien-trained Tumblebrutus, the Giant's Causeway full brother who is entered in Belmont's Futurity Stakes on Sunday.