06/28/2008 11:00PM

Youmzain finally winds up on top


Youmzain ended a string of big-race seconds on Sunday as he held off the favored Soldier of Fortune to win the Group 1, $631,000 Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud.

Richard Hughes put the veteran 5-year-old on the lead approaching the eighth pole and was soon clear, showing true grit to hold Soldier of Fortune safe by a half-length. Doctor Dino was three lengths back in third, with Zambezi Sun fourth and Getaway fifth. The 5-1 winner covered the 1 1/2 miles on good to soft ground in 2:28.20.

Youmzain's performance was a reversal of the Coronation Cup form in which the Aidan O'Brien-trained Soldier of Fortune had beaten him by three-quarters of a length into second. Youmzain had also been a fast-closing, heartbreaking head second to Dylan Thomas in last autumn's Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe, in which Soldier of Fortune was fifth.

Trained by Michael Channon at Newbury, Youmzain is a son of the Epsom Derby-Irish Derby-Arc winner Sinndar. A half brother to one-mile Group 1 Lockinge Stakes winner Creachadoir, he was winning for the first time since taking the 1 1/2-mile, Group 1 Preis von Europa at Cologne on Sept. 24, 2006, and was beating an excellent Saint-Cloud field in the process. Another Group 1 at 1 1/2 miles, the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot on July 26, is the likely next stop for the growing rivalry between Youmzain and Soldier of Fortune.

* In Hanshin, Japan, the 10-1 Eishin Deputy led throughout to win the Grade 1, $2.3 million Takarazuka Kinen by a head from the 11-10 Meisho Samson, traveling the 1 3/8 miles on firm ground in 2:15.30. The runner-up had to circle the field to take second by a neck from Inti Raimi and is still on course for a crack at the Arc, and a possible meeting with Youmzain and Soldier of Fortune, on Oct. 5.