04/11/2008 12:00AM

Zarkava faces heavy ground


Zarkava prepares for her classic tilts in the French 1000 Guineas and French Oaks at Longchamp on Sunday, needing to overcome six rivals and heavy ground in the Group 3, $126,000 Prix de la Grotte. The winner of the Group 1 Prix Marcel Boussac in October over the one-mile Grotte course, the undefeated Zarkava, trained by Alain de Royer-Dupre, is probably good enough to win in the mud.

The Pascal Bary-trained Conference Call, 2 1/2 lengths second to Zarkava in the Marcel Boussac, and Group 3 runners-up Gipson Dessert and Mousse au Chocolat could challenge.

Hello Morning, second to the highly regarded Thewayyouare in the Criterium International last fall, heads the Group 3, $126,000 Prix de Fontainebleau, but the preference is for the undefeated Freddy Head-trained Tamayuz. Aidan O'Brien will saddle One Great Cat, a Storm Cat colt who was third in a pair of British Group 2's last summer.

The Group 3, $126,000 Prix la Force features the return of last year's Breeder's Cup Juvenile Turf runner-up, Achill Island. He should revel in the off going and defeat Group 3 Prix de Conde winner High Rock and the mud-loving Mess Around.