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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 747 vom Freitag, 02.12.2022

Sadly the optimistic predictions that the European challengers, and in particular German hope Tünnes could come out on top in last weekend´s Japan Cup proved well wide of the mark. The French-trained runners finished fifth, sixth and thirteenth, while Tünnes was a disappointiung ninth in the field of 18. The 3yo from the Cologne stable of Peter Schiergen appeared rather agitated at the start, playing up for quite a while and then started very slowly. He was almost last as the field swung into the straight, where he was brought to the wide outside. There he had a clear run while those towards the inside were busy getting in each others´ way, but it hardly helped. He showed very little of the expected acceleration, but stayed on past beaten horses, finishing  about 6 ½ lengths behind the winner.

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Ausgabe 746 vom Freitag, 25.11.2022

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.

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Ausgabe 745 vom Freitag, 18.11.2022

The official champion trainer in Germany is the one who wins the most races, not, as is the case in most other countries, the trainer who wins the most prize-money. In our opinion the German method is wrong; it is the trainer´s job to place his horses with such skill that they win money for their owner, and the more money, the better. Here a trainer who wins 50 low level handicaps is seen to be more successful than a trainer who wins a Group One race. The trainers themselves seem to want it this way, but we do not agree.

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Ausgabe 744 vom Freitag, 11.11.2022

Small fields have been a regular feature of top level racing in Europe this year. Quite a few of the best races have had five runner or less, e.g. the King George at Ascot and the Grosser Preis von Baden. This is not only bad news for the racecourse, but also makes the likelihood of a false-run race much more likely, as we saw at Baden-Baden. This can be avoided by the use of a pacemaker Aidan O´Brien is however one of the few trainers to adopt this tactic on a regular basis – or of course one can force the pace oneself. This does not always work out, but certainly worked well last Sunday at Munich, where there were only five runners in the Grosser Allianz-Preis von Bayern, the final Group One race of the 2022 season, and the hot favourite Tünnes (Guiliani) made all the running.

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Ausgabe 743 vom Freitag, 04.11.2022

Big race in Germany last weekend was the Group Three Silbernes Pferd (“silver horse”) over 3000 metres at Hoppegarten. This is not only one of Germany´s best staying races, but ois also the oldest race in the German calendar, dating back to 1832. It looked quite an open affair with 9 runners, only one of them a 3yo, the filly Pretty Girl (Sea The Stars), but she dropped out disappointingly sfter making the early running. Stall Nizza´s homebred Nerium (Camelot) started favoiurite, and he went on at halfway. He had a clear lead in the straight and looked the likely winner two out when he stilled by five langths. But then the 5yo mare Silence Please (Gleneagles), who had been held up in last place for the first mile, came out of the pack and went in pursuit.

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Ausgabe 742 vom Freitag, 28.10.2022

Last weekend we had a modest meeting at Dresden on Saturday, followed by a much stronger card on Sunday at Hanover, where the 11 races included four black type events. This was preceded by a day-long conference, the so-called “thoroughbred experts´ day”. Many of the leading personalities in German racing were present, and many issues were freely and openly discussed. Among them was the use ,or rather misuse, of the whip, and it seems quite likely that Germany´s strict laws in this regard will be further tightened.

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Ausgabe 741 vom Freitag, 21.10.2022

As expected, the 2yo races were the most interesting events at Baden-Baden´s Sales & Racing Festival last week. The meeting itself must be regarded as a major success, and they were lucky with the weather, which although miserable on Friday (the first day) was excellent on the Sunday, resulting in a good crowd and strong betting turnover. The new management team of Peter Gaul and Stephan Buchner must be congratulated on a great job. There is one more day´s racing to come at the Iffezheim track, on Saturday December 3rd, which will be combined with a Christmas market; this is a complete innovation and it must be hoped that it is also a success, although much obviously will depend on the weather.

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The "Winterfavorit" Fantastic Moon (l.) www.galoppfoto.de - Stephanie Gruttmann
Ausgabe 740 vom Freitag, 14.10.2022

This is the time of year when the main interest in the racing world switches to the 2yo´s and, it is hoped, classic prospects for next year. The German calendar is always about a month behind other leading European nations and this applies even more to the juveniles than to the older horses. In France we have races for 2yo´s in the early spring, in England the Brocklesby Stakes at the Doncaster meeting in late March is the traditional start of the flat season in the U.K. The race has been run in its present form since 1875 (originally at Lincoln) and It has often been won by performers who went on to prove themselves among the best of their crop. This season the winner Persian Force (Mehmas) went on to be placed in top races at Royal Ascot, Newmarket and Deauville. We remember Hearts of Fire (Firebreak), the 2009 winner, who finished the season by winning the Group One (then) Gran Criterium at Milan, taking in Baden-Baden´s Zukunfts-Rennen on the way.

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Ausgabe 739 vom Freitag, 07.10.2022

What a weekend! From Last Friday to Monday there were group races  n Saint-Cloud and Longchamp in France, in Ascot and Newmarket in England, in Tipperary in Ireland, and in Düsseldorf and Hoppegarten in Germany; in addition there were listed races in Dundalk (Ireland), Redcar , Toulouse, Milan, and Hanover and Mülheim and Övreroll in Norway,as well as on the undercard most of the group race meetings. There were also Group One races in Japan, the USA and Chile. It is clearly one of the busiest weekends of the year internationally, but equally clearly the number one place goes to the Arc weekend at ParisLongchamp, with three Group Two and no fewer than eight Group One races. It is interesting to note that six of these events went to the U.K., four winners were trained in France and one in Ireland.

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Ausgabe 738 vom Freitag, 30.09.2022

Thoroughbred Racing Commentary publishes every week its TRC Global Rankings, in which the leading human and equine performers worldwide are ranked according to a complicated points system based on results of the top races, mainly Group Ones, from all over the world. The aim is to establish a pecking order of the world´s most successful owners, trainers and jockeys similar to the rankings published for tennis players and golfers. It could be argues that the international classifications, based on handicap ratings, are more authoratiive, but the TRC rankings are also of great interest and certainly relevant to German racing.

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Ausgabe 737 vom Freitag, 23.09.2022

It rained all day last Sunday at Dortmund. That is possibly good news for some following the long hot and dry spell we have endured for most of 2022, but it was certainly bad luck for the racecourse at Dortmund which was staging its best card of the year. The going was soft at the start of racing, but turned progressively heavier throughout the day. The track clearly favoured soft and heavy ground performers, and many of the runners were facing such condition for the first time. The result was that many races saw some very easy winners scoring by long distances.

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Ausgabe 736 vom Freitag, 16.09.2022

After the excitements of the Grosse Woche at Baden-Baden the previous week, it was clear that racing in Germany last weekend would be at a much lower level. And so it proved; there was racing at five tracks, but Düsseldorf on Sunday had easily the best card and also the only black type event.

Düsseldorf had three races for 2yo´s, unusual for Germany, a maiden race, a BBAG sales race and the listed Junioren-Preis over a mile a race with a distinguished history which has been won in the past by many stars of German racing, Lando and Lomitas, to name just two. The BBAG sales race had easily the best prize-money and was won by Postman (Soldier Hollow), bred by the Matusche family and a 28,000 euros yearling. He is trained by Markus Klug, also the trainer of the maiden winner, Gestüt Röttgen´s homebred Aspirant (Protectionist).

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