10/21/2004 11:00PM

Westerner seeks double repeat


Westerner goes in search of his second successive Group 1 Prix Royal-Oak, or French St. Leger, on Sunday, the final day of racing this season at Longchamp.

Victory for Westerner in the 1 15/16-mile, $243,000 contest would also give him a second straight Prix du Cadran-Prix Royal-Oak double. Last year Westerner handled the drop in distance from the 2 1/2-mile Cadran with aplomb, winning by 2 1/2 lengths. Things should not be too much different this time around.

Trained by Elie Lellouche, Westerner has already won twice this year over the Royal-Oak course and distance at the Group 3 level, taking the Prix de Barbeville on April 22 and the Prix Gladiateur on Sept. 12. In between he finished second to Papineau in the Ascot Gold Cup.

The heavy ground at Longchamp will not bother Westerner, who won the 2003 Cadran on a similar surface.

Alcazar and Behkara, second and third in last year's Royal-Oak, try the odds-on Westerner again, but they have been off form of late. Cut Quartz, Le Carre, and Irish invader Holy Orders were second, third, and fifth behind Westerner in the Cadran.

A Danehill 5-year-old, Westerner need only run his usual race to win for the sixth time in his last nine starts.