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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.

19.06.2021
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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13.06.2021
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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04.06.2021
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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29.05.2021
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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21.05.2021
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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14.05.2021
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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07.05.2021
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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02.05.2021
Ausgabe 666 vom Freitag, 30.04.2021

It is always one of the most interesting features of every new season in horse racing to see how the form of the previous year´s top performers work out. This of course is particularly true of the previous year´s juveniles who are now the new classic crop. In Germany, where most breeders have their main focus on the classics and as a general rule the locally-bred performers can show huge improvement from two to three, and often continue improving for years to come, it is quite often the case that the top three-year-olds had shown very little at two and very often never even ran at that age. In fact, four of the last ten German Derby winners never ran as juveniles.

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24.04.2021
Ausgabe 665 vom Freitag, 23.04.2021

The only racing in Germany for the past 12 days was staged at Cologne last Sunday, a mammoth card with 12 races including the Group Two Carl Jaspers-Preis for 4yo´s and up over 2400 metres as well as three interesting races for 3yo´s with several classic clues. The Group Two race, previously known as the Gerling-Preis, was the best race run here so far this year. The field of six included ther 2017 German Derby winner Windstoss (Shirocco) and stable companion Kaspar (Pivotal), both Gestüt homebreds trained by Markus Klug, local hopes Sunny Queen, trained by Henk Grewe and winner last year of the Group One Grosser Preis von Bayern, and two trained by Peter Schiergen, top stayer Quian (Mastercraftsman) and Nerium (Camelot) as well as consistent Dato (Mount Nelson).

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15.04.2021
Ausgabe 664 vom Freitag, 16.04.2021

Although all the German black type races so far this year have been for 4yo´s and older horses, it has been the 3yo crop that has been of most interest with the classic races now not too far off. And as a result of the races we have seen this month there has been quite a shake-up in the ante-post betting on the German Derby, due to be run at Hamburg on July 4th. Throughout the winter, Mythico (Adlerflug), trained by Jean-Pierre Carvalho, was Derby favourite after his convincing win in the Herzog von Ratibor-Rennen last November, but he ran very disappointingly last Sunday in Longchamp and has been pushed out to 19-1 by Racebets (whose process I am quoting here).

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09.04.2021
Ausgabe 663 vom Freitag, 09.04.2021

There was plenty of racing over Easter worldwide and some very surprising results. The most valuable race in Europe was the Irish Grand Narional at Fairyhouse on Easter Monday, which went to the 150/1 shot Freewheeling Dylan, who had been bought for a mere 13.000 euros as a 3yo store at Goffs Land Rover Sale, and earned over 15 times that amount here. It was the highest winning SP ever in the race, but at Hong Kong the main event, the Group Two Sprint Cup went to the 178-1 (!”) chance, the NZ-bred Amazing Star, who had  been sold as a yearling for NZ$ 30,000 (about 18,000 euros if my information is correct) and picked up a huge amount here.

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03.04.2021
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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