- Danedream wins Grosser Preis von Baden in Germany
- Home favorite claims half a length win under jockey Andrasch Starke
- Connections confirm Danedream will defend Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe crown
- Would be first filly in more than 70 years to mount successful defense
Germany's superstar race mare Danedream successfully defended the Grosser Preis von Baden at Iffezheim Racecourse Sunday, delighting a home crowd and pleasing connections, who will now target a defense of the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe at Longchamp next month.
The red-hot favorite took up the running 1 1/2 furlongs out off a slowish pace through the first 2,200 meters.
But she came immediately under threat from Ovambo Queen and Pastorius, setting up a nail-biting finish.
However, Danedream rallied gamely to hold off a strong challenge from the chasing pair, surging ahead in the final strides to win by half a length.
Her jockey Andrasch Starke was full of praise for his filly, who ran with "all her heart" to regain the title she won at this track one year ago.
"What a great fight," he told CNN. "There wasn't so much pace as there wasn't a pacemaker. She beat the best three-year-olds and she was just fine."
Trainer Peter Schiergen confirmed that her next start will be in the Arc, scene of Danedream's biggest triumph last year.
"At 200 meters it was awful because the plan was always to give her an easy race, not a hard race, and everything worked out well," said part-owner Heiko Volz.
"She won easily and this is the right preparation for the Arc."
The result tips her deeper into favoritism for the Arc, Europe's most prestigious race, in which she will be attempting to become the first filly in more than 70 years to defend her crown.