07/31/2003 11:00PM

Six Perfections leads Astarte


The last three runnings of the Prix d'Astarte at Deauville have produced 17 future American runners. Ten of them have won here, and five of those - England's Legend, Iftiraas, No Matter What, Amonita, and Glia - have won American stakes.

Saturday's renewal of the straight Group 2 mile for fillies and mares promises to be better than ever. Twelve are entered for the $112,000, half of whom are group-race winners.

They are led by Six Perfections, who, despite runner-up finishes in the 1000 Guineas and the Irish 1000 Guineas, may still be the best filly in Europe. A daughter of Celtic Swing trained by Pascal Bary for the Niarchos family, Six Perfections was unlucky on both of those occasions and should win the Astarte with a clean trip.

Both Bright Sky - winner of last year's French Oaks and Prix de l'Opera, who prepped for this with a sharp second to Falbrav in the Prix d'Ispahan - and this year's French 1000 Guineas winner, Musical Chimes, will be difficult to deny. The German 1000 Guineas champ, Diacada, and French Group 3 winners Acago and Campsie Fells add depth to the field, as does an undefeated listed winner, Tessa Reef.