08/22/2009 11:00PM

Track-record effort keeps Arcano unbeaten


Arcano retained his unblemished record as he got up in the final strides to win a hot renewal of the Group 1, $499,000 Prix Morny at Deauville on Sunday to assume command of the European 2-year-old division.

Unhurried at the back of the five-runner field, the 9-2 Arcano rallied to catch the pacesetting filly Special Duty near the line, speeding the straight six furlongs in a track-record 1:07.90 on good ground, shaving .30 of a second off the old mark. The favored Canford Cliffs, the impressive six-length winner of the Group 2 Coventry Stakes at Royal Ascot, was a close third, a neck behind the runner-up with the Group 3-winning filly Dolled Up next a neck farther back, with Group 3 Prix de Cabourg winner Zanzibari another head back in fifth. Less than a length separated first from last in a race that is sure to have repercussions through the end of the season.

By the sensational young stallion Oasis Dream, the Brian Meehan-trained Arcano was making his first start for Hamdan Al Maktoum, having being purchased by the older brother of Sheikh Mohammed after winning the Group 2 July Stakes at Newmarket on July 9. Arcano's reputation had been enhanced on Wednesday when Showcasing, whom he had beaten by a head in his debut maiden score at Newbury on June 11, won the Group 2 Gimcrack Stakes at York. Meehan was noncommittal about Arcano's future plans, saying only that "all options are open."

The Criquette Head-Maarek-trained Special Duty, a British-bred Juddmonte daughter of Hennessy who had previously won the Group 2 Prix Robert Papin, will travel to England for her next start in the six-furlong, Group 1 Cheveley Park Stakes at Newmarket on Oct. 2 back against her own sex. All five of the Morny runners are fully up to Group 1 competition and none of them should be discounted in their next starts.

British-trained horses nearly swept the four group races at Deauville on Sunday as Godolphin's 1-10 Schiaparelli landed a three-runner Group 2 Prix Kergorlay at 1 7/8 miles, while the John Gosden-trained Charity Belle took the 1 1/4-mile, Group 3 Prix de la Nonette for 3-year-old fillies at 9-1. The 11-10 Alain de Royer-Dupre-trained Alpine Rose prevented a British sweep by holding off the Godolphin-owned Lady Marian by a short head in the Group 1, $356,000 Prix Jean Romanet at 1 1/4 miles.

Alpine Rose and Lady Marian are likely to meet again on Arc Day, Oct. 4 in the Group 1 Prix de l'Opera when they could be joined by Charity Belle and the half-length Nonette runner-up, Article Rare.