09/04/2005 11:00PM

Warrsan scores repeat victory in von Baden


In European Group 1 action on Sunday, Warrsan took his second straight Grosser Preis von Baden, Starcraft upset the Prix du Moulin de Longchamp, and Rumplestiltskin gave Aidan O'Brien his fourth Moyglare Stud Stakes trophy .

Winless and unplaced in seven group race starts since having landed last year's Grosser Preis von Baden, the 7-year-old Warrsan held off the late challenge of the improving 3-year-old filly Gonbarda to take the von Baden, Baden-Baden's $926,000 centerpiece, by 1 1/4 lengths. A son of Caerleon trained by Clive Brittain and ridden by Kerrin McEvoy, Warrsan covered the 1 1/2 miles on good ground in a pedestrian 2:34.42 at 7-1. Gonbarda, who had defeated older colts last time in the Group 1 Deutschlandpreis, battled on for second, 1 1/4 lengths in front of the European champion stayer Westerner, who once again found 12 furlongs on the short side. Cherry Mix and Prospect Park, two of last season's best French 3-year-olds, disappointed in fifth and sixth. A Czech invader and recent Rheinland-Pokal winner, Darsalam, was scratched, as he much prefers soft going.

Starcraft, the New Zealand-bred 2004 Australian Derby winner, returned to his best form, leading throughout under Christophe Lemaire to take the one-mile $375,000 Prix du Moulin de Longchamp, defeating some of France's best milers. A 5-year-old son of Soviet Star now with trainer Luca Cumani, Starcraft left an improving 3-year-old filly, Gorella, 2 1/2 lengths behind in second, with Majors Cast a short neck farther back in third. Group 1 winners Whipper and Valixir were fourth and fifth as the 12-1 Starcraft covered the mile in 1:36.10 on good ground.

A three-time Group 1 winner in New Zealand and Australia, Starcraft had been third to Valixir in the one-mile Group 1 Queen Anne Stakes in his European debut in June before finishing a dull sixth behind Oratorio and Motivator in the 1 1/4-mile Group 1 Eclipse Stakes. His owner, Paul Makin, plans to send him next in the one-mile Group 1 Queen Elizabeth II Stakes at Newmarket on Sept. 24, followed by a step back up to 1 1/4 miles in the Group 1 Champion Stakes at the same track on Oct. 15 or to the Breeders' Cup Mile at Belmont Park on Oct. 27.

Sent off as the odds-on favorite in the seven-furlong $375,000 Moyglare Stud Stakes at The Curragh, Rumplestiltskin had to work harder than expected in a lackluster field, but managed to get the job done, prevailing by a neck over the 25-1 Ugo Fire, with the 100-1 Ardbrae Lady 2 1/2 length farther back in third.

A Danehill filly out of a mare who is a full sister to Kingmambo, Rumplestiltskin was coming off a much easier course and distance score in the Group 2 Debutante Stakes. She came from last to first in the nine-runner field under Kieren Fallon on Sunday, stopping the clock in 1:25.84. O'Brien, who had won 3 of the 5 previous Moyglare Stud Stakes with Sequoyah, Quarter Moon, and Necklace, hinted that Rumplestiltskin may be put away for the winter in preparation for a tilt at next year's 1000 Guineas.