05/13/2010 11:00PM

Special Duty chases classic double


Special Duty will attempt to complete a rare classic double at Longchamp on Sunday, when she goes in the $564,000 Poule d'Essai des Pouliches, or French 1000 Guineas. A Criquette Head-Maarek-trained daughter of Hennessy, Special Duty is running back on two weeks' rest after placing first in the 1000 Guineas at Newmarket via the disqualification of Jacqueline Quest. Stephane Pasquier retains the ride.

No filly has pulled off the English-French 1000 Guineas double since the Head-Maarek-trained Ravinella in 1988, primarily because the two races are usually scheduled a week apart. Special Duty will be severely tested in this Group 1 mile, particularly by Joanna, winner of the seven-furlong, Group 3 Prix Imprudence. A High Chaparral filly trained by Jean-Claude Rouget for Hamdan al-Maktoum, Joanna should get the distance and is the selection with Christophe Soumillon aboard.

Rosanara finished third to Joanna last fall in the one-mile, Group 1 Prix Marcel Boussac over the Pouliches course and distance and was third in her season debut in the Group 3 Prix de la Grotte on April 25.

Liliside puts her 3-for-3 record to the test after one-mile listed scores at Saint-Cloud and Cagnes-sur-Mer. The ever dangerous Khalid Abdullah-Andre Fabre team sends out Full Steam, the three-length winner of a one-mile Chantilly allowance in her season debut.

Ayun Tara is back from Dubai, where she was second by a length to Siyaadah in the UAE 1000 Guineas on Meydan's Tapeta surface. Ayun Tara was a two-time course and distance winner last fall.

The first three finishers in the one-mile, Group 3 Prix de Fontainebleau return for the $564,000 Poule d'Essai des Poulains, or French 2000 Guineas, over the same course and distance. They are led by the first two finishers in the Fontainebleau, Rajsaman and Siyouni, both of whom are trained by Alain de Royer-Dupre for the Aga Khan. Rajsaman held on by a half-length in their Guineas prep serving as the pacesetter for Siyouni, who had won the seven-furlong, Group 1 Prix Jean Luc-Lagardere in October. Siyouni is expected to reverse the form this time with Christophe Lemaire aboard. Gerald Mosse replaces Thierry Jarnet on Rajsaman.

Lope de Vega, trained by Fabre, has a good chance after finishing a head behind Siyouni in the Fontainebleau, but British raider Dick Turpin could upset all of the French plans.

Trained by Richard Hannon, Dick Turpin confirmed the form he had shown when winning the seven-furlong, Group 3 Greenham Stakes by leading nearly throughout in the 2000 Guineas, only to be caught late by French invader Makfi. If Richard Hughes can get an easy lead on Dick Turpin, they could bring the French Guineas trophy back to England.