09/04/2005 12:00AM

Warrsan takes Grosser Preis von Baden


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 in European Group 1 action on Sunday.

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 Baden-Baden's $926,000 centerpiece by 1-1/4 lengths. Trained by Clive Brittain and ridden as he was last year by Kerrin McEvoy, the Caerleon entire covered the 1 1/2 miles on good ground in a pedestrian 2:34.42 at odds of 7.70-1. Gonbarda, who had defeated older colts last time in the Group 1 Deutschlandpreis, battled on for second, 1 1/4 lengths in front of European champion stayer Westerner, who once again found 12 furlongs on the short side. Cherry Mix and Propsect Park, two of last season's best French 3-year-olds, disappointed in fifth and sixth, while 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 while leading throughout under Christophe Lemaire to take the one-mile $375,000 Prix du Moulin de Longchamp, defeating some of France's best milers in the bargain. Now with Luca Cumani in Newmarket, the Soviet Star 5-year-old had another improving 3-year-old filly, Group 2 Prix de Sandringham winner Gorella, 2-1/2 lengths behind in second, with last Sunday's Group 2 Celebration Mile runner-up Majors Cast a short neck further back in third. Group 1 winners Whipper and Valixir were fourth and fifth as the 12.20-1 Starcraft covered the mile in 1:36.10 on good ground.

A three-time Group 1 winner in New Zealand and Australia when trained by Garry Newham, 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.

Sent off as the 2-7 favorite in the 7-furlong $375,000 Moyglare Stud Stakes at the Curragh, Rumplestiltskin had to work harder than expected against a lacklutser 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 further away in third. A Danehill filly out of a mare who is a full sister to Kingmambo and a half sister to East of the Moon, Rumplestiltskin was coming off a much easier course and distance score in the Group 2 Debutante Stakes. She came form last-to-first in the 9-runner field under Kieren Fallon, stopping the clock in 1:25.84. O'Brien, who had won three of the five 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.