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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 685 vom Freitag, 10.09.2021

Last week´s “Grosse Woche” (= “great week”) at Baden-Baden must be regarded as a great success. It was the first meeting at the Iffezheim racecourse under the new management team Baden Galopp, and, apart from a few minor hitches and teething problems, all went well and the final three days of the meeting were run in glorious late summer weather, also a huge positive so even the weather played its part. The only big problem was when the first race on Saturday had to be voided after a false start, but that is hardly the fault of the race club. The feedback has been overwhelmingly positive: “pure joy” according to Deutscher Galopp president Michael Vesper, and “all´s well that ends well” according to senior handicapper Harald Siemen´s weekly blog.

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Ausgabe 684 vom Freitag, 03.09.2021

Despite miserable weather, Baden-Baden's big meeting got off to a good start last Sunday, the first day´s racing under the new management of Baden Galopp. There was a good atmosphere, and we saw some decent races with exciting finishes and some smart winners.

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Ausgabe 683 vom Freitag, 27.08.2021

Last week´s racing in Germany was very low key and there was not a single black type race at the three meetings (Hanover, Mülheim and Krefeld); the most valuable event was the BBAG sales race for 3yo´s over 1750 metres at Hanover. These races are difficult to evaluate as the conditions often result in considerable weight differences, so it was no real surprise that last Sunday´s winner, aptly named The Conqueror (The Gurkha) was one of the lighter weights. This is no way meant to be negative, as he won nicely by two lengths and never looked in serious danger of defeat after taking the lead early in the straight. It was also a fine piece of race planning by trainer Andreas Wöhler, who owns the colt and also bred him (together with his wife Susi).

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Ausgabe 682 vom Freitag, 20.08.2021

Mid-August is always a quiet period in German racing. After three successive Sundays with Group One races (Munich, Düsseldorf, Hoppegarten), last weekend we had no group races at all, and only one black type event, a listed race at Düsseldorf, of which more later. This coming weekend there are no black type races at all. However in a week´s time the all-important Grosse Woche starts at Baden-Baden, and although the start will be relatively quiet, the weekend following is arguably the most important of the whole year starring the Group One Grosser Preis von Baden, backed up by several group and listed races at the Iffezheim track. Traditionally the Grosse Woche has six days of racing, but this year we have only four, partly due to the covid-19 pandemic but also to the fact that the racecourse is now under new management and this will be their debut.

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Alpinista, winner of the Gr. 1 Großer Preis von Berlin. www.galoppfoto.de
Ausgabe 681 vom Freitag, 13.08.2021

As a result of travel complications resulting first from Brexit and then from the covid-19 pandemic, there were no British-trained runners at all in German races for the first seven months of 2021. However the ice was broken last Sunday at Hoppegarten, where the card, featuring the Group One Grosser Preis von Berlin backed up by three listed races, was arguably the strongest of the season so far in this country, and with well over 8,000 racegoers in attendance it had the best atmosphere as well!

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Ausgabe 680 vom Freitag, 06.08.2021

Results so far suggest that the current crop of 3yo´s in Germany, at least as far as the colts are concerned, is no better than average and certainly nowhere near as talented as last year´s crop, but this does not apply to the fillies and we saw a really smart performer win last Sunday´s Group One 163rd Henkel Preis der Diana (German Oaks) at Düsseldorf. This was Gestüt Etzean´s homebred Palmas (Lord of England), trained by Andreas Wöhler and ridden with great confidence by Eduardo Pedroza.

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Ausgabe 679 vom Freitag, 30.07.2021

The possibility of making supplementary entries to an important group race, usually for a much increased entry fee, can often completely change the complexion of the race. We saw this at Munich last Sunday and we shall see it again at Düsseldorf this coming Sunday. The main event at Municvh was the Group One Grosser Dallmayr-Preis, Germany´s best middle distance race. This looked like cutting up badly until the news came that French trainer Jerome Reynier was going to supplement his 6yo gelding Skalleti (Kendargent), one of the best horses in Europe over this trip, last time out winner of the Group One Prix d´Ispahan (form well boosted since) and last October runner-up in an extremely strong field for Ascot´s Champion Stakes. These pieces of form- and plenty more posted by Skalleti, were vastly superior to anything his German rivals could claim, and not surprisingly he started as long odds-on favourite.

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Ausgabe 678 vom Freitag, 23.07.2021

Biggest race in Germany last week was the Group Three Fürstenberg-Rennen for 3yo´s and up over 2400 metres at Hoppegarten. This race has a long history and was usually for 3yo´s only durmg Baden-Baden´s Grosse Woche. However the character of the race has changed completely, it is now for all age groups and in mid-July and has been run at various different courses before finally settling down in Hoppegarten. However  as senior handicapper Harald Siemen has explained inhis blog this week, the race seems now pointless when it is run just two weeks after the German Derby, and this year´s edition turned out to be a damp squib. Of the seven declared runners only one was a three-year-old, Gestüt Paschberg´s Quebueno (Adlerflug), who had won the listed Hanover Derby trial but missed the big race itself as trainer Jean-Pierre Carvalho had three other more highly-rated runners in that event.

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Ausgabe 677 vom Freitag, 16.07.2021

Following the five group races run during the Hamburg Derby meeting at the beginning of the month, mid-July is obviously a quiet period in German racing, and there were no group races run here last week, just four listed events, two of them restricted to fillies and mares. In actual fact all four of them were won by the so-called weaker sex, and in three cases the winner made all the running to score easily.

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Ausgabe 676 vom Freitag, 09.07.2021

The Hamburg Derby meeting has been and gone, but many questions remain. The Derby itself was an exciting race, and despite some scrimmaging on the bends (almost inevitable with a field of 20), it was basically a fair race with few hard luck stories and in Sisfahan (Isfahan) a worthy winner, who was clearly the best horse on the day the way the race was run, and we hope that he can go on to confirm the form in the manner of In Swoop (Adlerflug) last year, who later finished runner-up in the Grand Prix de Paris and Prix de l´Arc de Triomphe. The Schlenderhan homebred has continued in good form this year, winning group races at Longchamp and Chantilly, but was slightly disappointing when only fourth, though not beaten far, in last Sunday's Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud.

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Ausgabe 675 vom Freitag, 02.07.2021

The important Hamburg Derby meeting started yesterday (Wednesday). The meeting, which goes on until Sunday, features five group races and several listed races as well as some valuable sales races. It was therefore clear that last weekend´s racing would pale into insignificance by comparison. The only race of interest was the Group Three Dortmund Grand Prix over 1750 metres. This is the first German pattern race of the year in which three-year-olds take on their elders, and over the years some top 3yo´s have won here, notably in 2006 and 2007 Lord of England and Soldier Hollow. Both of them won Munich´s Grosser Dallmayr-Preis, Germany´s best middle distance race, next time out and both are now highly successful sires.

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Ausgabe 674 vom Freitag, 25.06.2021

The two most significant races in Germany last weekend were classic trials, for the Preis der Diana (Oaks) at Düsseldorf on Saturday and the following day for the Deutsches Derby itself at Hanover.

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