04/08/2004 11:00PM

Voix du Nord heads Prix Noailles

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The road to the French Derby begins at Longchamp on Sunday with Voix du Nord heading a field of nine in the Group 2 Prix Noailles.

Voix du Nord was last seen winning the 1 1/4-mile Group 1 Criterium de Saint-Cloud on Nov. 8. Trained by David Smaga, he looks like an improving sort who should have no trouble with the Noailles' 11 furlongs. Christophe Soumillon takes the reins from Dominique Boeuf, who will be aboard the undefeated Malevitch.

Malevitch took a maiden race at 1 1/8 miles, then followed with a handy score in a 1 1/4-mile conditions race on Nov. 25. Trainer Elie Lellouche's most prominent 3-year-old, he is the choice over Voix du Nord.