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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 547 vom Freitag, 07.12.2018

With racing at a very low ebb in Germany for the next few weeks, it seems a good time to look at what´s going on around the world. This Sunday we have the International Races  at Sha Tin racecourse in Hong Kong, with four valuable Group One events – over six, eight, ten and twelve furlongs- all with high class international fields. Unfortunately there is no German-trained runner, our hopes that Night Music (Sea The Stars) would be invited were dashed; Stall Salzburg´s mare  is going to be sold at Arqana next week instead. However the Hong Kong Vase is still of great interest, with Waldgeist (Galileo) likely to start favourite and the enigmatic Pakistan Star (Shamardal) also in the line-up.

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Ausgabe 546 vom Freitag, 30.11.2018

This has been a blank week for German racing; there is racing today (Friday) on the sand track at Dortmund, and in December we have two more sand fixtures at both Neuss and Dortmund, but with all due respect, these are all very low grade. It is therefore time to have another look at the German stallion scene, following last week´s rather alarming statistics.

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Ausgabe 545 vom Freitag, 23.11.2018

There is some good news to report this week. First of all of course the fact that Enable (Nathaniel) is to stay in training at five in an attempt to win the Arc for the third time has been greeted with enthusiasm by racegoers around the world. This is a very sporting decision by her connections, especially owner Khalid Abdullah, his racing manager Teddy Grimthorpe and trainer John Gosden, who has handled her in masterly fashion. It will also please her regular jockey Frankie Dettori, who has once again been in brilliant form in 2018, and according to Gosden needs his percentage of the prize-money to put his children through college.

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Ausgabe 543 vom Freitag, 09.11.2018

Last Thursday´s Grosser Preis von Bayern in Munich ended in a convincing win for Stall Mulligan´s six-year-old entire Iquitos (Adlerflug), who came from last place with a devastating run to lead a furlong out and score by four lengths from Defoe (Dalakhani) with another four lengths back to Dee Ex Bee (Farhh). The two placed horses, both trained in England, have solid Group One form to their name, and while the very soft ground probably resulted in the exaggerated distances at the line, this was undeniably a smart performance from Iquitos, a consistent performer at the top level for the past two years; at four he won the Grosser Preis von Baden and at five the Grosser Dallmayr-Preis.

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Ausgabe 542 vom Freitag, 02.11.2018

By far the best race in Germany this week is Munich´s Group One Grosser Preis von Bayern on All Saints´ Day, but for technical reasons these lines are written before that late season feature, which has attracted a strong international field. The result and commentary (in German) can be found elsewhere in this issue.

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Ausgabe 541 vom Freitag, 26.10.2018

Last week´ s Baden-Baden meeting, the grandly-named Sales & Racing Festival, must be counted as a great success, thanks in particular to fine weather. At this time of year the outdoor conditions are all-important and after several years in which the weather was really miserable, this time everything was perfect: the sun shone non-stop, the temperature was pleasant and betting turnover on the Sunday was up by almost 20% compared to last year – a welcome change from this year´s normal results.

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Ausgabe 539 vom Freitag, 12.10.2018

The best race run in Germany last weekend was the Group Three Silbernes Pferd over 3000 metres, run in Hoppegarten for the first time since the war after being staged under various names in Krefeld, Hannover, Dortmund and now defunct Frankfurt. The race title is in fact the oldest in Germany, dating back to 1832, in the earliest days of thoroughbred racing in the country. It was therefore good to see it return to its earlier home in Berlin, although it must be said that the quality of the field did not really live up to the tradition of the race.

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Ausgabe 538 vom Freitag, 05.10.2018


Except for the week-long meetings at Baden-Baden and Hamburg, there is virtually no midweek racing now in Germany, but this Wednesday – a public holiday celebrating German reunification – we saw good racing at Cologne and Hoppegarten, following on from Sunday´s meeting at Düsseldorf. Both Düsseldorf and Hoppegarten hosted interesting Group Three races and the two easy winners, Peace in Motion (Hat Trick) and Va Bank (Archipenko) respectively, have plenty in common, including a very cosmopolitan background.

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Ausgabe 537 vom Freitag, 28.09.2018

There was a lot of rain last weekend in Cologne. This would not normally be worth a mention, but 2018 has not been a normal year as regards the weather, and this rain came after more than four months of heatwave and drought.  As a result the going was soft for the first time since the spring. In fact it was more than soft; by the start of racing on Sunday it was very bad, and by the fifth race – when the rain das slowed to a drizzle, but the damage had already been done – it was terrible and the later races, including the Group One Preis von Europa, were started by flag.

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Ausgabe 536 vom Freitag, 21.09.2018

Last Sunday was another disappointing day for German racing, with our two big hopes at ParisLongchamp both unplaced. Andreas Wöhler´s Royal Youmzain (Youmzain) was certainly not disgraced in fourth place, beaten less than two lengths, in the Prix Niel, but even so probably did not fulfil more optimistic expectations. Jean-Pierre Carvalho´s Well Timed (Holy Roman Emperor), unbeaten in four previous starts this year including the German Oaks, was soon beaten in the Vermeille and finished more than eight lengths behind the winner. The form of the Preis der Diana now looks much weaker than we had thought at the time.

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Ausgabe 535 vom Freitag, 14.09.2018

It is often believed that mares that are in foal can show dramatically improved form as a result of hormonal changes. This is not always the case, and indeed our handicapper colleague Harald Siemen has in his weekly blog demonstrated that statistics do not back up this theory at all. However it certainly happens sometimes, as in the case of Clear Water (Hard Spun), easy winner of last Sunday´s listed event over seven furlongs at Düsseldorf, Germany´s only black type race last weekend.

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Ausgabe 534 vom Donnerstag, 06.09.2018

Baden-Baden's Grosse Woche has now been and gone and we saw some more exciting finishes last week. However the results make depressing reading for local owners and trainers and it appears that the form of the top German horses is currently well below the level of some recent years. There are no stars like DanedreamNovellist or Protectionist, all winners of top international Group One races, to be found at the moment in German stables. This is partly because of a run of bad luck with injuries to some of the potential stars, partly to the fact that more and more German-breds with smart form are being sold abroad (mainly to Australia or Japan), and partly a natural cycle.

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