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Breeding & Racing in Germany

David Conolly-Smith: www.galoppfoto.de - Frank SorgeDavid Conolly-Smith: www.galoppfoto.de - Frank SorgeIn order to be of assistance to our growing number of readers from abroad, we are with immediate effect publishing in every issue of Turf Times an English page, giving in compact form all the latest racing and breeding news from Germany in English. It will be written by the well-known racing journalist David Conolly-Smith, who has lived in Germany for many years. He is the German representative of the International Racing Bureau and writes regularly on German racing and breeding for the Racing Post, Irish Field, EBN, TRC and many other publications.

Ausgabe 577 vom Freitag, 19.07.2019

It was clear that in the week following  the German Derby meeting at Hamburg there would be a bit of a lull, and last weekend the only black type races run were the listed Grosser bwin Sommerpreis over 1900 metres at Leipzig and the listed BBAG Diana Trial at Mülheim over 2000 metres.

The Leipzig race went to the seven-year-old gelding Sun at Work (Areion), bred by Fährhof, owned by Elisabeth Kindrat, trained in Bremen by Werner Haustein and who made all the running under Maxim Pecheur. The 28-year-old jockey, who in April married Lena-Maria Mattes, herself previously a successful amateur jockey, is having a fantastic season and rode a six-timer on the day. He is attached to the leading Markus Klug stable and has not looked back since winning the Deutsches Derby on Windstoss in 2017.

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Ausgabe 576 vom Freitag, 12.07.2019

After last season s results, when Godolphin took three of Germany´s five all-aged Group One races and other foreign-trained runners took several Group Two events, and the first half of this season, when again most of the better races have gone abroad, it is clear that German racing is in urgent need of another top class Group One performer comparable to Arc winner Danedream, King George winner Novellist or Melbourne Cup winner Protectionist earlier in this decade. It is just possible that we saw one last Sunday in Hamburg, in the shape of Laccario (Scalo), the convincing winner of the IDEE 150th Deutsches Derby.

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Ausgabe 575 vom Freitag, 05.07.2019

We are now four-sevenths of the way through Hamburg´s Derby meeting and have seen convincing winners of the main events so far. Last Saturday, the opening day, saw the 5yo mare Abadan (Samum) run out a ready winner of the listed Langer Hamburger over two miles. She is trained by Henk Grewe in Cologne and stable jockey, the young Frenchman Lukas Delozier, rode a waiting race on the grey but found himself boxed in early in the straight; luckily there was room for him to switch and Abadan quickened nicely to speed past the frontrunning Berghain (Medicean) and win easily by a length. This was the best career performance by the winner, and indeed her first black type success; she has changed hands several times, but this was a welcome change of luck for owners  Dr. Stefan Oschmann and his wife Sharpar, who race under the name of Darius Racing.

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Ausgabe 574 vom Freitag, 28.06.2019

Last weekend was very eventful for leading trainer Andreas Wöhler and showed once more how close together the highs and lows of racing can be. On Saturday he sent his 5yo Rolando (Campanologist) to win the Grand Prix there, part of the lucrative Defi du Galop series.  And the following day, his 8yo gelding Potemkin (New Approach) won the Group Three Grosser Preis der Wirtschaft at Dortmund after making all the running under stable jockey  Eduardo Pedroza.

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Ausgabe 573 vom Freitag, 21.06.2019

The period between the end of Baden-Baden´s Spring Meeting and the start of Hamburg´s Derby Week, which starts on the Saturday of next week, is always rather quiet. There were only two black type races in the past week, a listed race for 3yo fillies over 2100 metres at Düsseldorf, which ended with one of the most exciting finishes of the year, and then a Group Three over 1400 metres at Dresden, the first ever group race run at this track. From the German point of view the race was a disaster with a French-trained winner whose official rating would not normally entitle him to be considered seriously for any black type event, let alone a group race. This was Brian Ryan, a 4yo gelding by Finjaan, who now stands in Morocco;  Brian Ryan at least had fitness on his side, as he had already run ten times this year, winning five times, but all at a very low level.

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Ausgabe 572 vom Freitag, 14.06.2019

Last weekend´s two big classic trials, the Diana-Trial at Hoppegarten on Sunday and the Union-Rennen in Cologne on Monday, both had very convincing winners and have certainly help to clear up the picture for the German Derby at Hamburg on July 7th and the Preis der Diana at Düsseldorf on August 4th. It is still nearly two months before our Oaks, but the Derby will be run three weeks on Sunday, and there is basically only one more race for Derby candidates to qualify for the race, a listed race at Hanover on Sunday of next week. Several interesting colts have been entered for that event, including Peppone (Pastorius), who was for a long time regarded as the main Derby hope of the powerful Andreas Wöhler stable. He won his only start last year in good style, beating several subsequent winners, but was rather disappointing at Baden-Baden a fortnight ago on his only 2019 start.

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Ausgabe 571 vom Freitag, 07.06.2019

Last week´s Spring Meeting at Baden-Baden can be classed as a success, partly as a result of a sudden change in the weather. On the Tuesday it was still cold and wet, by Thursday it was sunny and very warm, and it got hotter every day. For horses that wanted soft ground conditions were not ideal, although strangely enough the two that dominated the Group Two Badener Meile on the opening day are both regarded as soft ground specialists, French-trained The Revenant (Dubawi) and Irish-trained Imaging (Oasis Dream).

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Ausgabe 570 vom Freitag, 31.05.2019

The situation of the German racing industry is not yet critical, but it is still slightly worrying. Following the clean sweep for the British and Irish raiders in the German 2,000 Guineas (Mehl-Mülhens-Rennen) at Cologne last week, there was another British victory in the German 1,000 Guineas at Düsseldorf on Sunday, when Main Edition (Zoffany), trained by Mark Johnston in Yorkshire, and ridden by Joe Fanning, just got the better of the favourite Axana and the supplemented Shalona. Both these last two are daughters of Soldier Hollow, whose position as the leading German-based stallion remains unchallenged.

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Ausgabe 569 vom Freitag, 24.05.2019

The German racing paper „Sport-Welt“ headlined its issue last week for the meeting at Cologne featuring the Mehl-Mülhens-Rennen (German 2,000 Guineas) with the phrase “historic classic”, referring to the fact that never before had eight foreign-trained horses run in the first German classic of the season. Six of them were trained in the U.K. and one each in Ireland and France. In the event the race turned out to be a historic disaster from the German point of view. The first five home (i.e. all the prize-money!) were English-trained, the Irish runner was sixth and the other English runner seventh. The French filly was never in the race and finished last, while the three German runners took the eighth, ninth and tenth places, a complete whitewash for the home team.

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Ausgabe 568 vom Freitag, 17.05.2019

The Group Two Oleander-Rennen over two miles, run last Sunday at Berlin´s racecourse Hoppegarten, is Germany´s best staying race and this year attracted three runners from Ireland, appropriately enough as the fixture is promoted as Irish Race Day and the main sponsor is Irish billionaire Luke Comer, who has made a fortune in the construction and property business. He was also the owner-trainer of two of the Irish runners, but they were regarded as rank outsiders while their compatriot, Willie Mullins´ Thomas Hobson (Halling) was the odds-on favourite following several excellent performances in top staying races last year.

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Ausgabe 567 vom Freitag, 10.05.2019

Gütersloh trainer Andreas Wöhler seems to have a very strong hand for the upcoming top races in Germany, and he saddled three good three-year-old winners this week. At Cologne on Sunday, he won both the races for this age group, first with Hans Wirth´s homebred filly Candy Crush (Lord of England), who scored over nine furlongs, and then with Gestüt Ittlingen´s homebred Laccario (Scalo), who was hardly out of a canter to win over eleven furlongs. Candy Crush was unplaced on her two previous starts, and Wöhler commented that she had run green, but was much better this time; she still needs more experience, but in the long run she could be a black type performer.

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Ausgabe 566 vom Freitag, 03.05.2019

Two of the most important German classíc trials were run this week, but the rather inconclusive results have only served to muddy the waters further. The German Derby in recent years has been virtually monopolized by three trainers – Markus Klug, Peter Schiergen and Andreas Wöhler – and they all had fancied runners in Krefeld´s Dr. Busch-Memorial on Sunday, but the rather surprising winner was Gestüt Ravensberg´s homebred Winterfuchs (Campanologist), trained in Iffezheim by Carmen Bocskai and ridden by Sibylle Vogt, currently the most successful lady trainer and lady jockey respectively in Germany.

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