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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 678 vom Freitag, 23.07.2021

Biggest race in Germany last week was the Group Three Fürstenberg-Rennen for 3yo´s and up over 2400 metres at Hoppegarten. This race has a long history and was usually for 3yo´s only durmg Baden-Baden´s Grosse Woche. However the character of the race has changed completely, it is now for all age groups and in mid-July and has been run at various different courses before finally settling down in Hoppegarten. However  as senior handicapper Harald Siemen has explained inhis blog this week, the race seems now pointless when it is run just two weeks after the German Derby, and this year´s edition turned out to be a damp squib. Of the seven declared runners only one was a three-year-old, Gestüt Paschberg´s Quebueno (Adlerflug), who had won the listed Hanover Derby trial but missed the big race itself as trainer Jean-Pierre Carvalho had three other more highly-rated runners in that event.

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Ausgabe 677 vom Freitag, 16.07.2021

Following the five group races run during the Hamburg Derby meeting at the beginning of the month, mid-July is obviously a quiet period in German racing, and there were no group races run here last week, just four listed events, two of them restricted to fillies and mares. In actual fact all four of them were won by the so-called weaker sex, and in three cases the winner made all the running to score easily.

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Ausgabe 676 vom Freitag, 09.07.2021

The Hamburg Derby meeting has been and gone, but many questions remain. The Derby itself was an exciting race, and despite some scrimmaging on the bends (almost inevitable with a field of 20), it was basically a fair race with few hard luck stories and in Sisfahan (Isfahan) a worthy winner, who was clearly the best horse on the day the way the race was run, and we hope that he can go on to confirm the form in the manner of In Swoop (Adlerflug) last year, who later finished runner-up in the Grand Prix de Paris and Prix de l´Arc de Triomphe. The Schlenderhan homebred has continued in good form this year, winning group races at Longchamp and Chantilly, but was slightly disappointing when only fourth, though not beaten far, in last Sunday's Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud.

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Ausgabe 675 vom Freitag, 02.07.2021

The important Hamburg Derby meeting started yesterday (Wednesday). The meeting, which goes on until Sunday, features five group races and several listed races as well as some valuable sales races. It was therefore clear that last weekend´s racing would pale into insignificance by comparison. The only race of interest was the Group Three Dortmund Grand Prix over 1750 metres. This is the first German pattern race of the year in which three-year-olds take on their elders, and over the years some top 3yo´s have won here, notably in 2006 and 2007 Lord of England and Soldier Hollow. Both of them won Munich´s Grosser Dallmayr-Preis, Germany´s best middle distance race, next time out and both are now highly successful sires.

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Ausgabe 674 vom Freitag, 25.06.2021

The two most significant races in Germany last weekend were classic trials, for the Preis der Diana (Oaks) at Düsseldorf on Saturday and the following day for the Deutsches Derby itself at Hanover.

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Ausgabe 673 vom Freitag, 18.06.2021

Cologne´s Union-Rennen, the oldest race in the German calendar and dating back to 1834, is run exactly three weeks before the German Derby and is always regarded as the most reliable trial for the Hamburg classic. This was true in the pre-war days, when it was run in Berlin, but is equally true of the modern period; the race moved to Cologne in 1947 after the division of Germany. In recent times it has been won by many top level performers, including three winners of the German Derby in the past seven years. In both 2018 and 2019 the winner and the runner-up went on to fill the same two spots in the Derby. So this year´s winner Stall Lintec´s homebred Best of Lips (The Gurkha) has a lot to live up to.

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Ausgabe 672 vom Freitag, 11.06.2021

There were four listed races last weekend in Germany, but to be frank, all were relatively low level events. However the Group Two race on Sunday at Mülheim was definitely of a much higher calibre and featured several of German´s top 4yo´s. The race, now titled Grosser Preis der rp Gruppe after the new sponsor, is normally the main event at the Baden-Baden Spring Meeting and called the Grosser Preis der Badischen Wirtschaft after the local sponsors there. That meeting had to be cancelled, not strangely enough because of covid-19 but because the racecourse at Iffezheim is now under new management and they still needed time to get everything organised. Mülheim, now one of the most go-ahead race clubs in Germany, did a great job, but obviously everyone in German racing hopes that everything will be back to normal in Baden-Baden by this time next year.

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Ausgabe 671 vom Freitag, 04.06.2021

The racecourse at Düsseldorf, situated on a wooded hill known as the Grafenberg, is undoubtedly one of the most attractive in Germany. Last Sunday´s fixture, with one of the best cards so far this season including two Group Two races, took place in perfect early summer weather, but of course without racegoers, so that there was very little atmosphere, a great shame as there was excellent racing with some notable winners. The ground had dried out after the miserable cold and wet weather which had been experienced for most of April and May, and the going was on the fast side. When conditions are like this, front-runners are heavily favoured at this rather sharp track, and that was the case again on Sunday, when five of the eleven races were won by a horse making all the running, which sometimes looks easy but requires great skill from the jockey in the saddle, who has to judge the pace exactly right.

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Ausgabe 670 vom Freitag, 28.05.2021

The long Whit weekend featured three major races for 3yo´s, all with a direct bearing on the two major German classics, the German Derby at Hamburg on Juily the and the Preis der Diana (Oaks) at Düsseldorf on August 1st. They were the Derby Trial and the Diana Trial at Hoppegarten on Sunday and the Mehl-Mülhens-Rennen (2,000 Guineas) at Cologne on Monday. However instead of clarifying the situation, if anything they muddied the waters still further. All three races ended with an exciting finish, and none of the three winners scored by more than three parts of a length, and it looks quite likely that the form could well be reversed before the season is out.

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Ausgabe 669 vom Freitag, 21.05.2021

The racing season is now entering its hottest phase, not only in Germany but also in the other leading European countries. In Germany we have next week the local equivalents of the 2,000 Guineas at Cologne on Whit Monday and the 1,000 Guineas at Düsseldorf next Sunday. The Irish versions of both races will be run at The Curragh this weekend, while the Italian Derby (with German contestants) will be run at Rome on Sunday. There are now only two weeks before the Epsom Derby meeting, with the French Derby the same weekend.

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Ausgabe 668 vom Freitag, 14.05.2021

Last Sunday's Group Two Comer Group International 50th Oleander-Rennen was arguably the best race run this season in Germany, at least for older horses, and was also the richest with 100,000 euros in prize-money, thanks to the generosity of the sponsors, whose European HQ is in Berlin. The Hoppegarten Irish Race Day, usually one of the most atmospheric fixtures of the year was of course run without spectators, so the usual razzamattazz was missing, but at least the owners were there (some of them anyway), the Irish Ambassador was there and so was Luke Comer, once again trying to win back some of his own money.

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Ausgabe 667 vom Freitag, 07.05.2021

This German racing proverb means literally “fitness beats class” and implies that in the early weeks of the season, horses with current form can often defeat higher-rated horses coming off a break since last season. This applies particularly to the early classic trials, as we saw last weekend in Germany when the two most important races, both classic trials, were won by horses that had already had a run this season, and they defeated several fancied horses from the big stable who were making their seasonal debut. Of course, it is quite possible that they won because they were the best horses in the race, but time will tell, and this writer would not be at all surprised to see the form overturned in high summer.

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