09/02/2004 11:00PM

Whipper heads strong Moulin cast


Whipper, the recent winner of the Prix Jacques Le Marois, heads an outstanding field of 11 runners from four different countries for the $380,000 Group 1 Netjets Prix du Moulin over Longchamp's right-handed mile on Sunday.

Five of the contestants have already won at the Group 1 level, four more at Group 2 level, and the two others, Grey Lilas and Diamond Green, are group winners who finished second in classic races earlier this year.

Despite his Marois success, Whipper still has much to prove, as all his best form has been on soft ground, an unlikely occurrence on Sunday given the recent warm spell across Europe.

American Post drops back a half-mile in distance, having had a sequence of six victories brought to an end when he finished a non-staying sixth in the 1 1/2-mile English Derby back in June. Lucky Story, who returned from a long absence to be second by a nose in a very strong Group 3 event at Salisbury on Aug. 12, and the third-place finisher in the Sussex Stakes, Le Vei dei Colori, represent England. Antonius Pius ventures over from Aidan O'Brien's Irish yard, and Martillo and Paolini mount a two-pronged German challenge.

Baden-Baden: Strong English team

English raiders look set to dominate Germany's most prestigious race, the $1 million Group 1 Grosser Volkswagen Preis von Baden, run over a left-handed 1 1/2 miles at Baden-Baden on Sunday.

Shirocco, Malinas, and Omikron, the first three home in the German Derby at Hamburg eight weeks ago, carry home hopes. But the impression is that the current German classic crop is nothing special and with Shirocco unlikely to encounter his preferred soft ground, it would be no surprise if the English contingent of Mubtaker, Gamut, and Warrsan filled the first three places.

Mubtaker is the only member of that trio without a Group 1 victory in 2004, but he boasts the single outstanding piece of form on offer, in the shape of his second place to Dalakhani, the pair clear of all the rest, in last October's Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe. He has run just once since then, barely breaking a sweat in landing a Group 2 at Newbury last month, and he ought to be good enough to break his Group 1 duck here before taking a second crack at the Arc.

Gamut, who won the Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud in Paris in July, and Warrsan, winner of the Coronation Cup at Epsom in June, may chase him home.

Ireland: Jewel in the Sand should sparkle

The feature race in Ireland on Sunday is the $380,000 Group 1 Moyglare Stud Stakes, a seven-furlong event for 2-year-old fillies in which Jewel in the Sand, trained in England by Richard Hannon, will defend her unbeaten record against 11 rivals.

A Group 2 winner at Newmarket in July, Jewel in the Sand will bid to make the step up to the highest company but faces a dangerous opponent in another Group 2 winner, the well-bred Silk and Scarlet.