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American Post sets out on Classic trail - with his carrot!

DESMOND STONEHAM

ON all known form it should be a routine task for American Post when he contests the Prix Omnium II at Saint-Cloud

today in the hands of Richard Hughes.

The son of Bering, second favourite for the Vodafone Derby, has won his last three starts in effortless style, including Group 1 successes on both sides of the Channel.

With Hughes in the saddle, he made short work of his rivals in the Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere at Longchamp on Arc day and was no less impressive when taking the Racing Post Trophy later in October with Christophe Soumillon on board.

He has reportedly thrived throughout the winter and trainer Criquette Head-Maarek said yesterday: "American Post is a colt who needs to race.

"If all goes well in the Omnium, he will go on to the Prix de Fontainebleau before the Poule d'Essai des Poulains. [French 2,000 Guineas]."

American Post had played up before the start at Longchamp but he was perfectly behaved at Doncaster thanks to an ingenious ploy.

The trainer said: "When we went to England I gave a carrot to a handler at the stalls and American Post followed it into his berth. Carrots will be taken to Saint-Cloud as we

intend to continue with the formula."

The other four runners in the mile contest are all last-time-out winners. One of the fittest will be Joursanvault, who has only finished out of the frame once in ten outings and landed the Listed Prix Montenica at Maisons-Laffitte this month.

Svedov should again hold Blackdoun, who he beat at Maisons-Laffitte in November, although the latter has since been campaigned at Cagnes-Sur-Mer, where he won a Listed race, while

Richon has not been out since winning over course and distance last backend.

In other Classic news, Diamond Green may go straight to the Ultimatebet.com 2,000 Guineas at Newmarket.

Roland de Longueville, racing manager to owners the Lagardere family, said yesterday: "There is nothing wrong with the colt, but we may give the Prix Djebel a miss."

The Djebel, run at Maisons-Laffitte next Tuesday, is a

traditional Classic trial but the ground at the track has been the subject of criticism

recently.

That is unlikely to prevent Robert Collet running last season's Prix Morny winner Whipper, who is also entered in the 2,000 Guineas.

2,000 GUINEAS

Hills: 2 One Cool Cat, 11-2 Grey Swallow, Three Valleys, 10 American Post, Diamond Green, 11 Lucky Story, 14 Milk It Mick, 16 Bago, Pearl Of Love, 20 Akimbo, 25 bar

(including Whipper).

CAPTION(S):

American Post wins last year's Racing Post Trophy under Christophe Soumillon. The colt is likely to have two runs before his first major target this season - the French Guineas
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Title Annotation:Sports
Publication:The Racing Post (London, England)
Date:Mar 31, 2004
Words:454
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