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The English page - 2024 - The summary

Derby winner Fantastic Moon and Libery Racing, owner of the year. www.galoppfoto.de - Sabine Brose


Redaktion Turf-Times


Ausgabe 799 vom Freitag, 22.12.2023

The end of the year is closing in fast now, but we will have two race meetings to see the 2023 season out. Weather permitting on Boxing Day, Mulheim will see a final grass meeting and then on the 30th of December, Dortmund on its sand track will bring the curtain down. Most things have been already decided with Andrasch Starke, the leading jockey this year with 79 winners a full 23 more than his closest rival Rene Piechulek. The leading Breeders award was taken by Gestuet Karlshof ahead of Gestuet Fährhof and the leading owner was Liberty Racing 2021. The syndicate racing and bloodstock members hit gold this year with Winning Spirit (Soldier Hollow) winning twice, one at listed level before finishing second in the Italian Derby and running 4th in his owners second colors in the German Derby in Hamburg behind the first colors on the winner Fantastic Moon (Sea the Moon). What a year for them as owners!! Fantastic Moon would give them another big day out in Longchamp when winning the Group II Quatar Prix Niel before running the unplaced in the Prix de l´Arc at the same venue.

Liberty Racing, the idea of Lars Wilhelm Baumgarten is in the upper league as syndicates go,but it has caught on well and is one of the success stories of German Racing 2023. In the other categories, Leon Wolff will be crowned champion apprentice, Konstantin Philipp leading amateur and Antonia von der Recke the leading female amateur rider. In the trainer’s title, well that has been a dogged fight all season and it looks like it could go all the way to the last day as Peter Schiergen leads Henk Grewe 48 wins to 46.

In the Equine divisions the foreign trainers had allround success again this year. Trainers like Yann Barberot brought Zagrey (Zarak) to capture the Group I Grosser Preis von Baden in a thrilling finish and under a strong ride from star jockey Christophe Soumillion to get the better of our three-year-old’s Mr. Hollywood and Straight. His French colleague Stephane Wattel took the Group I Westminster 133. Grosser Preis von Berlin with his stable star Simca Mille (Tamayuz) while in the last Group I of the year Junko (Intello) would take the Grosser Allianz Preis von Bayern for Andre Fabre. He would later upgrade this success with a win in the Group I Hong Kong Vase at Sha Tin racecourse. Darkaniya added to the French successes when taking the T v Zastrow Stutenpreis in Baden Baden for Francis Henri Graffard. As always Henri-Alex Pantall was a regular visitor and took back three listed filly prizes with Nano Nagle (Frankel), Amellata (Pomellata) and Spring Promise (Lope de Vega). The German 2000 Guineas Mehl-Muehlensrennen also went to France with Angers (Seabhac) for trainer Mario Barratti proving too strong for the Englander Finn´s Charm.

English trainers were not to be outdone.

English trainer Charlie Appleby for Godolphin captured the Group I Grosser Dallmayr Preis in Munich with Nations Pride (Teofilo) beating Fantastic Moon. Archie Watson took the Dr. Busch Memorial Group III and the 103. Grosser Preis der Landeshauptstadt Duesseldorf Group III with Brave Emperor (Sioux Nation). He also lands the Grosser Preis der Landeshauptstadt Dresden with Roman Mist (Holy Roman Emperor). By the 3-year-old we did produce some exceptional horses though and from early in the season the cream came to the top early and it lasted till the end of the season. The Group III Bavarian Classic on Munich´s first day saw Mr. Hollywood (Iquitos) as winner and Fantastic Moon (Sea the Moon) as third over the line but come Derby Day on the 2nd of July the form would be reversed. Fantastic Moon would bolt home 2 ½ lengths in front of Mr. Hollywood making history in the German sport as winning trainer Sarah Steinberg become the first winning female trainer of the Derby.

After losing the 2000 guineas to France we did keep the Wempe 1000 Guineas here in the land as Habana (Kingman) was successful for Andreas Woehler and stable jockey Eduardo Pedroza and Gestuet Faehrhof. This time she held the Brits at bay proving an easy 3 lengths too good for the English duo Stenton Gilder (Dandy Man) and Dream of Love (Shamardal).

In the Oaks we saw another good filly Muskoka (Sea the Moon) give Henk Grewe a classic winner as she held Kassada (Sea the Moon) and the French girl Sea the Lady (Sea the Moon). It's not often or whether it has ever happened that a stallion, here Sea the Moon produces all first three home in a filly’s classic. The last of our classics the 139 Deutsches St. Leger went the way of the best stayer we have here in Germany at present, the 4-year-old Lordano (Adlerflug). The Marcel Weiss trained gelding was unbeaten in his last 4 runs of the season. One Group I race successfully defended this year was the Preis von Europa in Cologne when India (Adlerflug) got compensation big time for her unlucky and a little bit controversial demotion in the stewards’ room after beating Kolossal in the Group III Fuerstenberg Rennen on previous start in Berlin Hoppegarten.

Another that had to survive an objection on the day and an appeal later was Zerostress (Areion). He got the better of the French trained Exxtra to give his trainer Sascha Smrczek and owners Stall Rom success in Germany´s most prestigious Sprint race the Goldene Peitsche Group III in Baden-Baden and leads the sprint division in 2023.

By the Juveniles Wikinger a Ten Sovereigns son probably put up the smartest performance with his win on only his second start in the Ferdinand Leisten Memorial Auctionrace in Baden-Baden. Wonderful Boy (Sea the Moon) won 2 of his three starts and handled atrocious conditions well to win the grosser Preis der SWK over 1700 meters (1m ½ f) in Krefeld. Others like Geography (Holy Roman Emperor), Ghorgan (Study of Man) Narrativo (Adlerflug) posted good marks for next year as did Shagara (Zarak) Three Havanas (Havana Grey) and Lady Mary (Lawman) by the fillies.

Racing and Breeders are facing tough times in Germany and though the Germans are notably tough and resilient it will be a hard fight. The numbers in the breeding sheds are down and will surely fall again with the closure of two main studs this year. Gestuet Hoeny-Hof breeders of horses like Group I winner Princess Zoe (Jukebox Jury) or Palace Prince, Miss Europa or Salve Germania have closed their doors with the end the dispersal sale in Goffs Ireland and even bigger the Gestuet Ammerland in Bayern, Munich, breeders of horses like Borgia, Waldgeist, Lope de Vega, Boreal, Hurricane Run, Luigi, Grey Lilas, Golden Lilac to name just some of the stars that came from Dietrich von Boetticher´s legendary breeding Farm. They will be sadly missed in the German Racing scene.

The leading sire of 2023 was the Landwardes Stud standing Sea the Moon who produced the Derby Winner Fantastic Moon and the Oaks winner Muskoka and the Group II Hansa Preis winner Assistent as his leading runners this year. From the home-based stallions, it was Areion, Amaron and the golden Oldie Soldier Hollow. They must now try look forward to the products of Torquator Tasso and Japan.

The 4th of September was another sad day for German Racing when it lost the four times German Champion Jockey, Filip Minarik, who died at the young age of 48. Filip had suffered severe depressions after a horror fall in 2020.

We would also like to remember owner Jürgen Heyne, Mr. Graham Thomas, Dr. Jürgen Blatt, functionary Erwin Peifer, Mr. Johann Pavenstedt, Lady Christ O'Reilly, Mr. Otto Himmel, Mr. Olaf Profft, Dr. Heinz Faßbender, Mr. Peter-Michael Sörries, Mr. Karl-Heinz Keller, Mr. Jürgen Hartmann, Mr. Hans-Peter Rosport, Mrs. Christiane Langen, Mrs. Bettina Behre, Mr. Hans-Heinrich von Loeper, Mr. Klaus Philipp and not to forget the gentleman who gave me the task of his column, David Connolly- Smith.

To End on a more positive note the members of German Galopp voted this week to increase the prize money in 2024 especially in the Handicaps by a good 16%. So, let’s hope it can help Germany´s racing in some ways. As this is our last episode before the Holiday period, I would like to wish all our readers, a very Happy and Peaceful Christmas and Best Wishes for the New Year.

Shannon Spratter

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