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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 662 vom Freitag, 02.04.2021

GaloppOnline published a very amusing spoof story today in honour of the date, but we shall try to keep serious as the flat season is now getting under way, with the huge Dubai World Cup Meeting last Saturday and group and listed races all over Europe this coming Easter weekend. This is not to say that the N.H. season is over – far from it. This weekend we have a big jumps meeting in Ireland (Irish Grand National at Fairyhouse on Easter Monday) and in France (Auteuil). The Aintree Grand National Meeting begins on Thursday of next week with the big trace itself on the Saturday and the last big N.H. meeting in Ireland is the Punchestown Festival at the end of the month. We are confident that there will be plenty of winners at these meetings sired by German stallions, especially the various sons of Monsun standing in Ireland, although all racing will of course be behind closed doors.

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Ausgabe 661 vom Freitag, 26.03.2021

It looks as if the long winter is finally over and the turf season is now under way. Last Sunday we had the first turf fixture of 2021 in Germany, a low level affair in Krefeld, but with two interesting 3yo winners (see below) while we also had the first group race on grass of the season at Saint-Cloud – the Prix Exbury, in which German raider Grocer Jack finished a respectable fourth, and there was also racing at the Curragh, while this weekend Doncaster will mark the traditional start of the season in the U.K. with two listed races and the Lincoln Handicap, a reference to the fact that this meeting was originally held at the now defunct Lincoln Racecourse, which began operations in 1763 and closed down in 1964.

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Ausgabe 660 vom Freitag, 19.03.2021

It is very pleasing in these difficult days to report good news, but that is certainly the case following this week´s reports of developments from Baden-Baden and Iffezheim racecourse.The racecourse, by any measure Germany´s top track, lies about eight miles of the resort town of Baden-Baden in the village of Iffezheim, close to the river Rhine and the French border. The racecourse was originally founded by French gamblers in 1858 but the French pulled out after the Franco-Prussian war of 1870/71 and the Internationaler Club was started in 1872 to take over the management of the racecourse.

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Ausgabe 659 vom Freitag, 12.03.2021

The winning run of German-bred N.H. stallions in British and Irish races over jumps continues, and hardly a day goes by without another winner sired by Getaway, Aizavovski, Maxios, Ocovango,  Network, Salutino, the full brothers September Storm and Shirocco, and two more brothers Samum and Schiaparelli – all of them of course sons of Monsun. Getaway is probably the current star; he stands at Coolmore´s Grange Stud in Fermoy, Co. Cork. He is in fact the most expensive of Coolmore´s N.H. sires – who also include three more sons of Monsun – at 9,000 euros. This might sound like peanuts compared to the prices charged for Galileo and other flat stallions at Coolmore, but Getaway has been covering huge books and 9,000 multiplied by 250 or more soon adds up to a nice sum.

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Ausgabe 658 vom Freitag, 05.03.2021

With racing in Germany still limited to extremely poor racing on the Dortmund sand track on the next two Sundays, it is still the N.H. scene in the U.K. and Ireland which grabs the interest. However not so much the racing itself, which is also at a relatively low level until the all-important Cheltenham meeting starts the week after next, but  the scandal concerning top Irish trainer Gordon Elliott, which is dealt with elsewhere in this issue.

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Ausgabe 657 vom Freitag, 26.02.2021

With very little happening on the flat in Germany – just very low level racing on Dortmund´s sand track for the next three Sundays, before the turf season begins at Krefeld on March 21st – it is worth taking another look at the N.H. scene in Britain and Ireland, and particularly the continuing success of German-bred stallions in that sphere, notably the many sons of Monsun (Königsstuhl), now recognized as a huge influence in N.H. racing, second only to Sadler´s Wells as a sire of N.H. sires.

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Ausgabe 656 vom Freitag, 19.02.2021

We have already written twice this year about Monsun´s excellent N.H. record and this story is still ongoing. There are winners almost every day sired by his sons or out of his daughters. Particularly successful this week have been Shirocco, one of Monsun´s best sons who defeated Malinas (Lomitas) to win the 2004 German Derby and went on to win the Breeders´ Cup Turf for Baron Ullmann and trainer André Fabre, and Sea The Moon (Sea The Stars), whose dam Sanwa was not only a daughter of Monsun but also a full sister to Samum and Schiaparelli, who are also previous winners of the German Derby which Sea The Moon himself won in 2014. The above-mentioned Malinas, closely related to Monsun, is also having a great run as a sire of N.H.

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Ausgabe 655 vom Freitag, 12.02.2021

When we wrote last week that it was “only a matter of time” before Getaway sired his first Grade One winner over jumps, we certainly did not imagine that it would take less than 48 hours, but that indeed happened last Saturday when his son Sporting John won the Grade One Scilly Isles Novice Chase at Sandown park at very generous odds of 14-1. Sporting John was held up in last place, but came with a very strong run to win in the end very easily; he is entered in all three big novice chases at the Cheltenham N.H. Festival.

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Ausgabe 654 vom Freitag, 05.02.2021

With next to no racing in Germany at present - only a very low level meeting on Dortmund´s sand track every second Sunday, with most races worth 2,000 euros or less to the winner – it is an opportune moment to look beyond the border and discover what German-breds are up to in other countries. And of course the N.H. scene in Britain and Ireland has to be the first port of call.

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Ausgabe 653 vom Freitag, 29.01.2021

The International Classifications were published this week, the worldwide official ratings of the best horses in the world of thoroughbred racing. Obviously not every horse can be listed, the ratings start at 115 (German GAG 97.5) for 3yo´s and up and at 110 (German GAG 95) for 2yo´s. Among the many statistics provided, one of great interest is that of the world´s best 100 races, which is calculated by taking the average ratings of the first four to finish. The figures for 2020 make very positive reading from the German point of view.

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Ausgabe 652 vom Freitag, 22.01.2021

Racing continues at a very low level in Germany: only on Sunday and only on the sand track at Dortmund. Last Sunday´s meeting featured six races, five of them handicaps at the lowest possible level and one handicap at the second-lowest level. The German racing newspaper Sport-Welt described it as a day which “offered everything the heart desires.” Speaking personally, this writer´s heart desires to see horses running that are also capable of winning decent races. However this Sunday´s card is more or less the same, as is the case the Sunday following, while in February only two days are scheduled, both at Dortmund and with most races worth 2,000 euros or less to the winner. Obviously this is a very quiet time of year, but even so this is rather depressing and the current Covis-19 lockdown only makes it feel even worse.

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Ausgabe 651 vom Freitag, 15.01.2021

Deutscher Galopp, the successor to German Racing and before that, theDirektorium, prepared last week a provisional fixture list for the German group races in 2021. It is clear that under the present circumstances nothing can as yet be set in stone; the current lockdown is due to end on January 31st but is almost certain to be extended, possibly until Easter. Even then it is very unlikely that racegoers will be allowed on to the racecourse before the summer. Deutscher Galopp boss Dr. Michael Vesper, at a press conference today (Thursday), made it clear that there will be no parallel racedays, i.e. days with more than one racecourse in operation, until mid-June at the earliest.

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