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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 641 vom Freitag, 23.10.2020

Last Sunday saw the final day of racing at Germany´s leading racecourse Baden-Baden, in the village of Iffezheim. Obviously this has been an extremely difficult year, as it has been basically for all racecourses. Baden Racing, the company which runs the racing (the actual land is the property of the village) were already making a loss in the previous years, and have been financial support by Deutscher Galopp, the umbrella organization which controls thoroughbred racing here (previously known as German Racing, and before that the Direktorium), also from the German Owners ´ and Breeders´ Association and the sales company BBAG, whose offices and sa,les rung are just down the road. 

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Ausgabe 640 vom Freitag, 16.10.2020

By far the most important race run in Germany last week was Sunday´s Group Three Preis des Winterfavoriten over a mile at Cologne, one of only four German group races for 2yo´s and traditionally the best of them. As the race title implies, the winner is automatically regarded as the favourite for next season´s German Derby. In actual fact this has rarely been the case. The only Cologne winner this century who went on to win the following season´s Derby was Isfahan (Lord of England) in 2016, bred and trained by Andreas Wöhler and running in the colours of Darius Racing.

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Ausgabe 639 vom Freitag, 09.10.2020

It has been a miserable year in many respects and good news has been rare indeed, in thoroughbred racing as in most other walks of life. It is therefore with great pleasure that one is able to announce that last weekend was hugely successful for the German racing and breeding industry. The weekend started with positive results on Saturday (a German national holiday) from Hoppegarten, continued with more success on the first day of Longchamp´s Arc meeting, a frankly amazing result from the Arc sale on Saturday evening, and finally the Prix de l´Arc de Triomphe itself, the most important race of the year in Europe, if not the whole world, in which the French-trained but German-bred and German–owned In Swoop (Adlerflug) finished strongest of all to take second place, beaten only a neck. and earned no less than 685,200 euros for his owner-breeder, the Ullmann family´s Gestüt Schlenderhan.

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Ausgabe 638 vom Freitag, 02.10.2020

Last weekend´s racing in Germany was mainly low key, but there were two performances at Cologne on Sunday that are definitely worth a mention. The first was the victory of Peaches (Lord of England) in the listed Winterkönigin-Trial for 2yo fillies. She was bred by Gestüt Etzean, was a 28,000 euros BBAG yearling and is trained locally by Andreas Suborics, who is currently in red hot form. She was still a maiden coming into the race, but had been placed on all three starts in decent company, including when runner-up in a valuable sales race at Baden-Baden. The conditions of the race meant that as a result she had to give weight to the previous winners in the field, but she did this very convincingly, challenging last of all on the stands rail to get up in the final furlong and defeat the favourite Amazing Grace (Protectionist) by three parts of a length.

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Ausgabe 637 vom Freitag, 25.09.2020

The most important race run in Germany last week was the Group Three 136th Deutsches St. Leger at Dortmund on Sunday. The race is named after the 18th century British officer Antony St. Leger, who founded the original race, which has always been run at Doncaster, in 1776. It is the world´s oldest classic race, and is still regarded as a classic, even though it has been opened up to older horses in almost every racing country, including Germany. Only in the U.K. is it still a race restricted to three-year-olds. However last Sunday´s edition was certainly curious, in that not only were there no 3yo´s at all in the field, all seven runners were 4yo´s.

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Ausgabe 636 vom Freitag, 18.09.2020

Last weekend was the busiest of the year in European racing. We had the St. Leger meeting in Doncaster, the Irish Champions Weekend at Leopardstown and The Curragh, the Grand Prix de Paris and the Arc trials at Longchamp and in this country, the final days of Baden-Baden´s Grosse Woche. In all there were ten Group One and twelve Group Two races run, and it is interesting to see where the winners came from. Eight Group One winners were trained in Ireland (five by Aidan O´Brien and his sons) and the other two in the U.K.; six of the Group Two winners were trained in the U.K., five in Ireland and one in Germany. None was trained in France. It is quite clear that the balance of power has swung quite dramatically to England and Ireland in recent years and the French have gone almost empty-handed in the top events.

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Ausgabe 635 vom Freitag, 11.09.2020

Baden-Baden´s „Grosse Woche“, Germany´s most important race meeting of the year, started well last weekend and the signs also look positive for the remaining three days of the meeting, on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Last week started well enough with the BBAG Yearling Sale, where results – although as expected well below the 2019 figures – certainly satisfactory enough with a clearance rate of 74% and the total turnover down 21%. The average of 41,372 euro was down 26% on 2019, but better never seemed likely in these much more difficult days. Highlight of the sale was the Sea The Stars filly out of Sanwa (Monsun), a full sister to German Derby winner and successful young sire Sea The Moon, who was sold for 820,000 euros, equalling the sale record, to Gestüt Ammerland. Godolphin, usually the biggest purchasers here, were conspicuous by their absence, but local customers filled the gap.

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Ausgabe 634 vom Freitag, 04.09.2020

The most interesting races in Germany last weekend were clearly the four races for 2yo´s at Düsseldorf on Sunday, all of which had very promising winners. Gestüt Röttgen´s homebred Alaskasonne (Soldier Hollow) set the ball rolling when winning the 1400 metres race for fillies by 1 ¼ lengths from the favourite Dibujaba (Soldier Hollow). The latter made the running, but Alaskasonne was always going well in second place, challenged at the distance and soon led, comfortably asserting in the final stages. This came as a pleasant surprise for trainer Markus Klug, who not only expected his other runner, Sea The Snow (Sea The Moon) – who ran very disappointingly – to be his main chance, but also thought that neither of them could beat Dibujaba, who had also previously been in training with him. Alaskasonne is a member of Röttgen´s highly successful “A” family and her dam Alaskakönigin (Sternkönig) was a listed winner.

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Ausgabe 632 vom Freitag, 21.08.2020

The Grosser Preis von Baden last September was the race that really put Ghaiyyath (Dubawi) on the map, when he scored by 14 lengths from Donjah (Teofilo) and Laccario (Scalo). At the time it looked to be possibly just a flash in the pan, especially as Ghaiyyath then flopped (on very soft ground) in the Arc.

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Ausgabe 631 vom Freitag, 14.08.2020

In a normal year, we would now in mid-August be almost two-thirds through the season; the current Deauville meeting and next week´s York meeting mark the end of summer and the beginning of autumn. 2020 is of course no normal year and as we lost almost all racing in Western Europe from mid-March to mid-May, it is hard to say where we are now. But the fact that most of the important classic races were run a month later than usual, and that almost all recognised trials were either cancelled or postponed, seems to result in very disappointing results so far for the current crop of 3yo´s.

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Ausgabe 630 vom Freitag, 07.08.2020

Thoroughbred Racing Commentary, a website devoted to international horse racing, publishes regular tables (TRC Global Rankings) of leading jockeys, trainers and stallions using a points system based on the last three years´ results in the top Group One races worldwide. In the latest update, published earlier this week, Frankie Dettori is listed as the world´s most successful jockey, followed by Japan-based Christophe LemaireWilliam Buick and Ryan Moore, while John Gosden heads the trainers´ table, followed by Charlie ApplebyChad Brown and weiterlesen »