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Billy Loughnane, winning his first race in Germany with Queues Likely. Foto: Dr. Jens Fuchs


Redaktion Turf-Times


Ausgabe 814 vom Freitag, 26.04.2024

One month into the turf season now and German racing standards were raised another notch with the two Group races in Cologne. Again in NRW area where Cologne is situated the rains came and the track rode heavy which some horses found difficult going. Probably the weather was also one of the factors that the attendance was only 6.500 whereas in the east on the smaller Dresden morning programme over 8.000 racegoers found their way through the turnstiles on a cold but at least dry day.

The main event in Cologne, the Group III Carl Jaspers Preis over 2400 meters (1 ½ m), had only the five starters but they were all top class German Grand Prix horses, and the race produced a very exciting finish. As we said in the preview for this race, Lordano (Adlerflug) advanced to Germany´s top stayer last year and although he would start as an outsider in the betting market, he is improving. Exactly so it turned out plus the fact it was a masterful ride from his jockey Rene Piechulek. Tunnes (Giuliani) made the running under Andrasch Starke and even in the ground conditions, they went a respectable pace with Lordano following the pacesetter on the rails whereas Mr Hollywood (Iquitos) had to travel two wide and Piechulek was making sure he would stay out there without cover. Sammarco (Camelot) and Assistent (Sea the Moon) dropped in. Nothing changed throughout till turning for home as Tunnes stepped on the gas, Piechulek maneuvered the big stayer Lordano out to challenge navigating himself from the pocket he could have found himself in if waiting any longer.

Mr Hollywood (joint favorite) found it tough going and dropped away to be a disappointing fourth almost 13 lengths behind the winner. It was left to the other 25/10 joint favorite Assistent to launch his attack coming on the inside and trying to challenge between Tunnes and Lordano but Piechulek again masterfully held his ground and made it difficult for Assistent and Thore Hammer Hansen. Lordano and Piechulek got first run and although Assistent cut his advantage to a neck at the line, Lordano outstayed him and was always holding him to win for the Gestuet Ittlingen and Marcel Weiss who had him in tip top shape for his first run of the campaign. It will be interesting now to see if he steps back up in trip or stays in this division, whichever way he has improved and is so tough and likeable.

In the second Group race on the day the Karin Baronin von Ullmann Group III fillies race for 3-year-olds we saw another class piece of jockeyship. This time the young English jockey Billy Loughnane, touted as the best kid to arrive on the scene since a young Watter Swinburn, showed exactly why the 18-year-old is in such demand in the British Isles. He won on his first mount in France last month and again here his first in Germany. Making all the running on the English trained Queues Likely (Massaat) he got his fractions to perfections coming home an easy 1 ¼ lengths winner from Lady Mary (Lawman) with Words of Peace (Palace Prince) the same distance away in third.

Lady Mary stayed on well from the back of the field and the second and third held up the form from the Preis der Winterkoenigin Group III the leading 2-year-old fillies race in Germany from last October, albeit it is disappointing to see our top candidates being beaten by a filly that had won a Handicap in Wolverhampton on the sand track on her last start and even allowing for the winners experience and that she is now a five-time winner, she had been readily beaten in two attempts at listed class last year in the UK. Her trainer though, Stanley Moore, knows the time of the day and he sent her over here with a respectable chance of getting Black type and after the race said she would most likely return for the German 1000 Guineas. Queues Likely races in the colors of Heather Pinninger. 

Further on the card we saw some promising performance from some 3-year-olds. Iron Man (Tai Chi) won the 1600 meters (1m) winners race on his debut here putting a dent in the hugely touted favorite Penalty´s reputation. Mind you the favorite under Thore Hammer Hansen got himself in all sorts of trouble down the straight and did well to get within 1 ¼ lengths of the winner. Smart performance from both as they pulled 9 lengths clear of the third Backes. In the 3-year-old maiden over 1850 meters (1m 1f), Isfand (Isfahan) racing in the colors of Darius Racing for Henk Grewe and again under Thore Hammer Hansen looked an exceptional prospect, coming from the end of the field in the straight and having found unendless trouble down the straight he got free at the 100-meter mark and quickened impressively to win going away by 1 ½ lengths. We will see what this maiden form turns out like, but you couldn’t be anything but impressed with the debut run of the winner.

Looking forward to the next week here in Germany and we will be starting with the early season 3-year-old trials like the Dr Busch Memorial this Sunday and the Bavarian Classic next Wednesday on Mai 1st.

The Dr Busch Memorial Group III in Krefeld on Sunday over 1700meters (1m ½ f) has attracted seven candidates but they include Geography (Holy Roman Emperor) for Peter Schiergen, Wonderful Boy (Sea the Moon) Markus Klug and Maigret (Counterattack) for Bohumil Nedorostek, all leading 2-year-olds of 2023. Geography rated 94 (German rating) will be the mount of Bauyrzhan Murzabayev and running in the colors of Stall Hanse, is 2 from 3 having won his maiden on debut in Dusseldorf over 1500 meters (7 ½ f) he cemented that good impression with a win in the Group III Preis des Winterfavoriten over the mile. Wonderful Boy won his maiden in Cologne over the mile on his second start and progressed to win the Group III Herzog von Ratibor Rennen by an impressive 10 lengths in heavy ground and will again be partnered by Andrasch Starke. Lukas Delozier replaces Starke on Maigret this time and this colt is 2 from 2 having taken the Listed Grosser Preis der Lakis im Kö-Quartier- Junioren Preis over the mile in Dusseldorf last September.

The Grewe stables rely on Shootout (Areion) while Markus Klug is also represented by the recent Mulheim winner New Emerald (Protectionist). Mario Hofers runs Thekingofmyheart (Magna Grecia) who will be an outsider. The field is made up of Jean Pierre Cavalho´s runner Schützenzauber (Ameron) and he is interesting. He is 2 from 4 with a good run in the Zukunfts Rennen at Baden - Baden where he finished second behind the Charlie Johnson trained Carolina Reaper. Behind him that day were both Geography and New Emerald.

Also this Sunday in Berlin, 9 will go to post for the Listed Altano-Rennen over 2800 meters (1m6f) for the older stars. Magic Merlin and Garmona will represent the Czech Republic against our stayers where Lotterbov (Protectionist), Waldadler (Adlerflug) and Crystal Estrella (Iffraaj) look strongest.

The first of May see´s plenty of action in Germany with racing in Munich, Hannover, and Leipzig. Munich holds the main event with the Wettstar.de Bavarian Classic Group III over 2000 meters (1m2f) which is one of the main Derby Trials early season.

Looking at the entries for this years contest and trainer Waldemar Hickst is strongly represented with three runners all already jocked up. Wintertraum (Lord of England) in the colors of Stall Lucky Owner makes his return to the track here and is the mount of jockey Michal Abik. He won both his starts at two including the Gran Criterium, Group II, in Milan. Geminiano (Wootton Bassett) a home bred from Gestuet Faehrhof will be the mount of Lukas Delozier, having won a listed race in Hannover on his second and final start last year. Augustus (Soldier Hollow) is the stables third runner and he finished last years Campaign with a win in the Listed race Premio Campobello in Milan. Peter Schiergen has two in, Flamingo Moon (Sea the Moon) a maiden winner and Group III placed from 2 starts at 2 years and Lahzar Star (Best Solution) maiden winner this year in Mulheim. Norsk (Areion), from the Czech Republic, won 2 races at two and looks like the only foreign horse that could travel.

Don’t forget this race last year threw up the Derby one two, Fantastic Moon and Mr Hollywood. Talking of Fantastic Moon, the German Horse of the year in 2023, will resume his ways when travelling to ParisLongchamp this weekend for the Group I Prix Ganay. At the moment it looks like he will face wight opponents, Zarakem (Zarak) and Horizon Dore (Dabirsim) were supplemented. His opponents include the Group I winner Feed the Flame (Kingsman), the Fabre trained Birr Castle (Cloth of Stars) as well as the Irish pair Crypto Force (Time Test) and Al Riffa (Wootton Bassett).

So plenty to keep us busy next week.

Shannon Spratter

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