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.
Main event was the Group Three Preis der Sparkassen Finanzgruppe over 2000 metres which saw the 4yo Gleneagles filly Tabera (Gleneagles) come back to form. She is rather a headstrong character and usually makes the running at a breakneck pace, but jockey Maxim Pecheur this time succeeded in calming her somewhat. She still led, but this time at a more steady pace, and even allowed the favourite and topweight Liberty London (Maxios) to overtake her at the far turn, but she regained the lead early in the straight and kept on well for a convincing victory, scoring by 3 ½ lengths from Only The Brave (Iffraaj) and Quest The Moon (Sea The Moon). Tabera, whose damTemida (Oratorio) was a Group One winner, was bred at the Bulgarian-owned Britton House Stud in Somerset and is trained by the Bulgarian Miltcho Mintchev in Cologne. The handicapper has rated her at 94 GAG (=international 108) on this performance, up 5 pounds on her previous rating but equal to her best performance last season. She is obviously very useful, especially when her jockey is able to control here as was the case here, but will meet much stronger opposition next time out when she contests the Prix de l´Opera on Arc day.
There she could well meet this year's German Oaks winner Palmas (Lord of England), whose trainer Andreas Wöhler, we are glad to say, is recovering well from his recent heart attack. Another of Sunday's Baden-Baden winners could also be in action that same day at Longchamp, the 2yo filly Best Flying (Pedro the Great), who was barely out of a canter to win the valuable BBAG sales race by 4 ½ lengths. The form of these sales races is always hard to evaluate, but she was conceding weight all round (having won easily at Deauville on her previous start) and looked in a different league to her ten opponents here. Clearly the opposition will be far, far stronger in Paris, but she certainly looks the best 2yo seen out in Germany this year up to the time of writing, and her new rating of GAG 90 is very high for a German-trained juvenile in August, and her time of 1 minite 11.86 seconds for 1200 metres in rainy weather was also very good.
These lines are being written on Wednesday, during the second day of the meeting, which continues on Saturday and Sunday with the best races of the week. Saturday features the Group Three Goldene Peitsche (“Golden Whip”), Germany´s bestr spring race with its famous winner´s trophy, and the Group Two T. von Zastrow Stutenpreis for fillies and mares over 2400 metres. In the old days, the “Grosse Woche” was known as the “Internationale Woche” and the Goldene Peitsche certainly lives up to that Name; as the field includes riunners from Franc, England,Spain, Hungary, and the Czech Republic as well as those trained in Germany. Best of the locals could be Majestic Colt (Clodovil),Rubaiyat (Areion) and the improving filly Dibujaba, but with so many unknown quantities the race is difficult to sum up. There are no foreign runners in the other race, but it looks equally open; if Isfahani (Isfahan) runs up to her reputation, she could win this and her second place in the Preis der Diana is anyway probably the best form in the race.
Sunday's main features are the Group One Grosser Preis von Baden over 2400 metres and the Group Two Oettingen-Rennen over a mile, both with new sponsors. The field for the Grosser Preis looked like cutting up badly, but two supplementary entries, one from France and one from the U.K., have given the race a much stronger look and it looks wide open. From the German point of view, the most interesting feature is the clash between the 4yo Torquator Tasso (Adlerflug), Germany's best older horse over this trip, and this year's German Derby Sisfahan (Isfahan), who has not run since his Hamburg triumph. On the whole, last year's German Derby, in which Torquator Tasso was runner-up, was a much stronger race than the most recent edition, but it would be unwise to underrate Sisfahan, who is very lightly raced and probably capable of much improvement. His connections also have the filly Isfahani still in the race, but it seems more likely that she will run on Saturday.
The U.K. supplementary was the Godolphin homebred Passion and Glory (Cape Cross), trained by Saeed bin Suroor and to be partnered by champion jockey Oisin Murphy. He is on a steep upward curve, having won all three starts in 2021, including a Group Three at Glorious Goodwood last time. He will probably need to improve again to score here, but that is by no means unlikely. The French rival is Millebosc (Le Havre), trained by Stephanie Nigge for Gerard Augustin-Normand stable. He was an excellent third to St.Marks Basilica in the Prix du Jockey Club, form which would give him an obvious chance here, but he has since run below that level of form in Deauville, so has questions to answer.
There is also a Nigge/Augustin-Normand runner in the Oettingen-Rennen, San Isidro (Power), whose form seems equally hard to assess, but the assistance os Oisin Murphy in the saddle is a clear point in his favour. Best of the locals here could be this season's two German Guineas winners, the colt Mythico (Adlerflug), trained by Jean-Pierre Carvalho, and the filly Novemba (Gleneagles) from the in-form Peter Schiergen stable. Novemba, who usually makes the running, ran a great race at Royal Ascot when the heavy ground was against her; it is now drying out at Baden-Baden and conditions will this time be in her favour.