The English page - Tünnes in Tokyo
The season is almost at an end, and the last black type race of 2022 in Germany was run last Sunday in Munich, the Isfahan Grosser Münchener Herbstpreis, a listed race for 3yo´s and up over 2200 metres. This looked a very open affair on paper, with three foreign-trained runners, but punters were in no doubt: Gestüt Ravensberg´s homebred Wiesentau (Mukhadram) was backed down to 6-5 favouritism and won accordingly. He is trained by Andreas Wöhler on the traditional Ravensberg estate in Gütersloh, so it was a fitting result, especially as Wöhler´s other runner, Team Valor´s Lajoscha (Gleneagles) finished well to grab second place on the line. That was a decent performance but he was never going to be a danger to the winner, who led a long way out and won as he pleased. The winning margin of 3 lengths in no way reflects his superiority here.
Wiesentau had always been highly regarded by Wöhler and at the start of last year was thought to be his Derby candidate. However an injury put paid to these plans, and he missed most of last season. However he has come back in great style, and was completing a hat-trick here. He is expected to stay in training as a 5yo and coukld well be up nto group race standard. His problem is that he is very ground-dependent, and must have it soft, or even heavy, to show his best form. This was of course no problem here and conditions were ideal. This was also probably the main reason for his heavy support in the betting.
A Ravensberg runner beginning with the letter “W” – this must mean that he is a as member of the stud´s best-known family, and he is indeed a direct descendant of their famous “blue hen” Waldrun, a daughter of Alchimist foaled in 1943. She was nothing special as a racehorse, winning just one of her 17 races, and was sold in foal to Ravensberg for only 5,500 marks. The foal she was carrying was Windstille, who went on to be runner-up in both German fillies´ classics, and since then Waldrun, her own progeny and her progeny´ s progeny have enjoyed an almost unbroken run of success. This applies not only to Germany, where Waldpark won the Derby in 2011 for Andreas Wöhler, who is undoubtedly doubly happy to train Group One winners for his landlord, but also in every leading racing nation, including such top class performers as Doncaster St. Leger winner Masked Marvel (black marks to the owner for this name!) and Arc winner Waldgeist. Wiesentau´s own dam Wurfscheibe (Tiger Hill) was herself a dual group race winner and it would come as no surprise to see her son follow in her hoofprints next year - hoping of course that we do not have yet another long, hot and dry summer.
The other race of interest at Munich was the 2yo maiden over 2000 metres. That is a long distance for juveniles at this late stage of the season, especially on Sunday´ s heavy going. It is therefore no surprise to see that six of the seven runners are entered in next season´s German Derby or in the fillies´ cases, the Preis der Diana. And it was indeed a filly who took home the spoils, Gestüt Röttgen´s homebred Kassada (sea The Moon), who scored in good style, holding off the late charge of Stall Nizza´s Napolitano by three parts of a length, with the rest well beaten. The first two both ran green and were wandering about in the closing stages, but both look highly interesting prospects for 2023. Napolitano, who started favourite, was arguably the unlucky horse of the race; he was slowly away and did not get a clear run in the straight. It was a messy race, but the two who finished in the first two places were clearly the best horses in the race and both should be followed.
Finally, a look across the border, in fact halfway across the world, to Tokyo, where the valuable Japan Cup will be run early Sunday (CET). The Japanese have dominated this race for ages, in fact the last European winner was back in 2005. However there are good reasons for expecting a European victory this time, as the locals do not as strong as usual. There are three French-trained runners, Simca Mille, Onesto and Grand Glory, who was sold earlier this week to the Japanese owner Teruya Yoshida. However the one who interests us most is obviously the German challenger Tünnes, owned by Holger Renz and trained by Peter Schiergen. He won in very good style three weeks ago in Munich´s Grosser Preis von Bayern, although this race Is much, much tougher, and conditions completely different, we expect him to run a big race and we hope he finishes in the frame. Earlier this week the Japanese defeated the Germans in the football World Cup. How convenient it would be if a German horse can now defeat the best Japanese horses in their own back garden.