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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 653 vom Freitag, 29.01.2021

The International Classifications were published this week, the worldwide official ratings of the best horses in the world of thoroughbred racing. Obviously not every horse can be listed, the ratings start at 115 (German GAG 97.5) for 3yo´s and up and at 110 (German GAG 95) for 2yo´s. Among the many statistics provided, one of great interest is that of the world´s best 100 races, which is calculated by taking the average ratings of the first four to finish. The figures for 2020 make very positive reading from the German point of view.

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Ausgabe 652 vom Freitag, 22.01.2021

Racing continues at a very low level in Germany: only on Sunday and only on the sand track at Dortmund. Last Sunday´s meeting featured six races, five of them handicaps at the lowest possible level and one handicap at the second-lowest level. The German racing newspaper Sport-Welt described it as a day which “offered everything the heart desires.” Speaking personally, this writer´s heart desires to see horses running that are also capable of winning decent races. However this Sunday´s card is more or less the same, as is the case the Sunday following, while in February only two days are scheduled, both at Dortmund and with most races worth 2,000 euros or less to the winner. Obviously this is a very quiet time of year, but even so this is rather depressing and the current Covis-19 lockdown only makes it feel even worse.

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Ausgabe 651 vom Freitag, 15.01.2021

Deutscher Galopp, the successor to German Racing and before that, the Direktorium, prepared last week a provisional fixture list for the German group races in 2021. It is clear that under the present circumstances nothing can as yet be set in stone; the current lockdown is due to end on January 31st but is almost certain to be extended, possibly until Easter. Even then it is very unlikely that racegoers will be allowed on to the racecourse before the summer. Deutscher Galopp boss Dr. Michael Vesper, at a press conference today (Thursday), made it clear that there will be no parallel racedays, i.e. days with more than one racecourse in operation, until mid-June at the earliest.

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Ausgabe 650 vom Freitag, 08.01.2021

This time last year the term coronavirus would have meant nothing to the vast majority of the world´s population. Little more than two months later, the World Health Organisation (WHO) had declared a worldwide pandemic; it turned out to be the most serious one since the Spanish flu epidemic which followed World War One, and it is still with us today. From mid-March onwards public life – museums, libraries, concerts, cinemas and other cultural events, shops, restaurants – was practically closed down all over the world. Sports were badly affected, including horse racing. The nature of the pandemic meant that all crowds had to be avoided, and most sporting events took place, if at all, behind closed doors.

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There are only three days´ racing left in Germany this year, all with very low key cards; twice at Dortmund, and of course we are all hoping that the weather will allow the Boxing Day fixture at Mülheim, very popular in the past and revived for 2020, to go ahead. With no valuable races left, the 2020 champions are clear. The 2019 champion jockey Bauyrzhan Murzabayev and trainer Henk Grewe both repeated their success of last year. Murzabayev actually improved his 2019 tally of 111 to 119, despite two lengthy suspensions (for whip offences) and the loss of many fixtures to Covid-19. The one blot on his record is the fact that he has not yet won a Group One, but that seems certain to come before too long; he switches for 2021 from Andreas Wöhler to Peter Schiergen. Runner-up in both of the last two seasons is Maxim Pecheur, attached to the Markus Klug stable.

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Ausgabe 648 vom Freitag, 11.12.2020

We looked at some German-bred stallions standing abroad last week and in the meantime we have more information on Kamsin (Samum), the 2008 German Derby winner, and arguably the best son of Samum, who himself won the Germany Derby in the year 2000 and proved himself as a sire of top performers both on the flat and over jumps. Kamsin began his stud alongside his sire at his home Gestüt Karlshof, but later moved to France, where he sired the Grand Steeple winner On The Go. He has now moved on to Ireland and he will stand from 2021 at Annshoon Stud in Co. Kilkenny for a very reasonable fee of 3,500 euros. Clearly he will be covering N.H. mares and it is clear from his pedigree that his progeny will show their best form on soft or heavy ground.

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Ausgabe 647 vom Freitag, 04.12.2020

Last week we looked at the major stallions currently standing in Germany. We shall now continue as well as looking at some German stallions standing abroad. Two stallions which were not mentioned last week are Protectionist (Monsun) and Reliable Man (Dalakhani), both at Gestüt Röttgen and both of whose fees for 2021 has been set at 6,500 euros. Protectionist, surprisingly the only son of the great Monsun standing in Germany, has his first two-year-olds running this year and they were very encouraging; it can be assumed that his runners will improve for age, especially when running over longer distances. That Reliable Man has returned to Germany is good news for German breeders.

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Ausgabe 646 vom Freitag, 27.11.2020

Last Saturday´s racing at Munich and Mondays at Dortmund was at a very low level and, with all due respect, barely worth a mention. So, with this year almost over and no black type races to be run for the next few winter months, the English Page will today look at the stallion scene in Germany. We have been greatly helped in this respect by our esteemed colleagues at Panorama Bloodstock, who have provided the relevant information, including a list of the 39 stallions currently standing in Germany and their fees, where available.

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Ausgabe 645 vom Freitag, 20.11.2020

This abnormal 2020 season is now drawing to a close, and last Sunday we had the last German group race of the year, the Herzog von Ratibor-Rennen for 2yo´s over an extended mile at Krefeld, and yesterday (Wednesday) the final black type race of the season, a listed race over 2200 metres at Dresden. That event was won in good style by the favourite Dato (Mount Nelson), bred by Newsells Park and a 49,000 euros BBAG yearling. He is trained by Sascha Smcrzek and benefited from a canny ride from jockey Alexander Pietsch, who went straight to the far side rail from his outside draw, crossed over to the inside with a healthy lead entering the straight and was soon in total command, scoring by 3 ¾ lengths from Enjoy The Moon (Sea The Moon); the pair had the best form going into the race and basically had the race to themselves.

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Ausgabe 644 vom Freitag, 13.11.2020

It was an amazingly successful weekend for Cologne trainer Henk Grewe, who was firing on all fronts and scored notable successes in three countries. The one exception was his 4yo filly, Darius Racing´s Donjah (Teofilo), the only German runner at last week´s Breeders´ Cup meeting, who finished last on unsuitably firm going in the Breeders´ Cup Turf after stumbling. At the time of writing she has not yet arrived back in his stable, but she will soon leave again as she has a date at the coming Arqana sale.

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Ausgabe 643 vom Freitag, 06.11.2020

Last Sunday´s top race was the Group Two Oleander-Rennen at Hoppegarten over two miles, Germany´s top staying race and normally run in May. The race has been sponsored for the past five years by Irish builders and property developers Comer Group International, whose European HQ is in Berlin. Last year their boss Luke Comer won the race himself with Raa Atoll, whom he also trained, and this year he was clearly intent on winning the race again as he saddled no fewer than five runners.

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Ausgabe 642 vom Freitag, 30.10.2020

Last Sunday´s Hanover meeting, with 12 races including four black type events, went off very well and the most impressive performance of the day came in the best race, a Group Three over 2000 metres which had been transferred from Baden-Baden. Wonderful Moon (Sea The Moon) started as even money favourite and made all the running to win with ears pricked by a long-looking four lengths margin from Dato (Mount Nelson) and Enjoy The Moon (Sea the Moon). It was not the strongest group race but Wonderful Moon could hardly have won more easily and certainly outclassed this opposition.

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