Prince Kirk Averts Disaster to Win French Group I

Prince Kirk brushed the rail after passing favored Six Perfections with less than a furlong to go in Sunday's Prix d'Ispahan (Fr-I) at Longchamp, but recovered in time to hold on for an upset victory by a half-length.

The mishap brought to mind a similar occurence experienced close to the finish by Antonius Pius in last week's Two Thousand Guineas (Fr-I) at Longchamp, an incident that likely cost the colt a victory in the Classic.

Prince Kirk, sent off at odds of better than 7-1, reached the front with less than 100 yards left when something distracted him. He slipped and brushed the rail, but recovered to hold on over Six Perfections in about 1 1/8-mile event. Checkit was third, three lengths behind the winner.

Six Perfections got the lead from Checkit a furlong from home and appeared to have no dangers. But the Italian invader given a patient ride by Marco Monteriso crept up along the inside as Six Perfections offered little resistance.

The margin of victory would have been greater were it not for the slip. A French racing official said there was no connection with last weeks' surprise. The time on good going was 1:52.

Emilio Borromeo, who trains Prince Kirk, won his first French group I. He said the Arlington Million (gr. IT) could be a target for the 4-year-old French bred Selkirk colt. He wore blinkers for the first time Sunday.

Six Perfections was making her first start of the season. She's destined for the Queen Anne Stakes (Eng-I), according to Niarchos racing manager Alan Cooper.

Jockey Thierry Thulliez told The Racing Post, "We were going to win easily and then she cracked. She didn't quite get home and I didn't give the filly a hard race."

Sunstrach and Nebraska Tornado, who had problems loading into his stall for jockey Gary Stevens, completed the order of finish.