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. They had last time out finished second and third to the smart Wonderful Moon (Sea The Moon), 50% of whom was reported as having been sold to Haras d´Etreham this week, and were also the two most heavily backed, so no real surprise here.
Of much more interest was Sunday s Group Three at Krefeld, which had attracted a strong field. The Ratibor-Rennen has been won by many top performers over the years. The last two winners, the filly Donjah (Teofilo) in 2018 and Wonderful Moon in 2019, won major events this season and were both trained by Henk Grewe, who now saddled two runners, Dolcetto (Gleneagles) and Virginia Storm (Soldier Hollow), both winners of their only previous start. They were maiden races so both were upped in class here and were facing much stronger opposition this time. So it was no real shock that they were run out of it by Dr. Thomas Bretzger (Stall tmb)´s homebred Mythico (Adlerflug), trained by Jean-Pierre Carvaho, who was always close up, led two furlongs out and kept on really well to defeat the fast-finishing Dolcetto by half a length, with Virginia Storm 1½ lengths back in third and the rest never seen with a chance.
Mythico was still a maiden coming into the race but had been a very promising third on his previous start in the Preis des Winterfavoriten, generally regarded as Germany´s top juvenile event. That form gave him an obvious chance here and he was clearly the best horse in the race, although Dolcetto was certainly an eyecatcher in second spot after starting very slowly. Grewe seemed happy enough with his two placed runners: “that was a top performance by Dolcetto and I was also happy with Virginia Storm, who, if he makes normal progress over the winter, should make up into a really good 3yo next year.”
However the winner is the horse to take out of the race, as he looks likely to make considerable improvement next season. As a son of Adlerflug, he is certainly entitled to do so, and trainer Carvalho immediately declared that the Group One Deutsches Derby is his main target for 2021 and that he will probably have his prep race(s) in France. He is from an excellent French family, and his fifth dam was champion miler Luth Enchantee (Be My Guest). Mythico´s second dam Madhya (Gone West) was bought as a mare by Gestüt Schlenderhan for a very high price at Tattersalls and her daughter Madhyana (Monsun) is the dam of Sunday´s winner. Adlerflug has had a fantastic season, with his 3yo colts In Swoop, Torquator Tasso and Dicaprio all with excellent Group One form to their credit, but he is not really known as a sire of 2yo´s and indeed Mythico is his first juvenile group race winner.
The handicapper has raised Mythico to German GAG 92 (=international 104). The easy Preis des Winterfavoriten winner Best of Lips (The Gurkha) is the top-rated German juvenile of 2020 on 95.5 (111) and this is unlikely to change much. The Cologne runner-up Sea of Sands (Sea The Stars) is on 92, like Mythico. Two fillies, in fact the first two from the Preis der Winterkönigin, are also high in the list; Noble Heidi (Intello) and Novemba (Gleaneagles) are on 93.5 (107) and 92.5 (105) respectively And would of course be receiving 3 pounds from the colts should they ever meet.
One has to say that currently Mythico appeals most of these as a possible candidate for the 2021 German Derby. In the antepost betting on that race, bookmaker RaceBets has Mythico, Best of Lips and Virginia Storm all as joint favourites on 19-1, together with Mark Johnston´s Gear Up (Teofilo) Dolcetto, Django Unchanged (Pastorius) – disappointing in France this week – Novellini (6th in the Ratibor-Rennen) and Sea of Sands are all on 24-1. It is unusual to have no clear favourite for the following season´s Derby by the end of November, but none of them really stand out. There have been plenty of German Derby winners who never raced at two, so that it is quite possible that the 2021 winner has not yet been seen out.
However there were two other performances this week that could well have a bearing on the race. Andreas Wöhler has an excellent record in the Hamburg classic, and he sent out Sir Vulcano (Polish Vulcano) to make a winning debut at Dresden yesterday. This was a very encouraging performance. Sir Vulcano is an own brother to this season´s Swiss and Italian St. Leger winner Sir Polski, so the Derby trip should be no problem, especially as this race was already over 1900 metres. He is also a Gestüt IDEE homebred, and as IDEE boss Atti Darboven has sponsored the Derby for the last few years, it is fairly clear what his main target will be in 2021.
French trainer Francis-Henri Graffard took this year´s German Derby with an Adlerflug colt owned and bred by Gestüt Schlenderhan. It is by no means inconceivable that lightning could strike twice in this respect as Graffard´s Martial Eagle (Adlerflug) was a very promising runner-up in a well-contested maiden race at St. Cloud on Tuesday, with the above-mentioned Django Unchained (Pastorius), even money favourite, only fourth. Graffard has reported that the Schlenderhan homebred is also on course for the 2021 Deutsches Derby. Both he and Sir Vulcano are now quoted by RaceBets at 29-1 for the race.
French-bred Best Lightning (Sidestep) was another German 2yo to run well in second place In France this week. He was runner-up to the Godolphin hotpot Midtown in the listed Prix Herod at Chantilly. That was good form; he is entered in all the BBSAG sales races next year, but not in the Derby and on pedigree is unlikely to stay the 2400 metres distance. He is trained by Andreas Suborics in Cologne, but has so far only run in France, winning his first two races in Strasbourg and looks capable of making his presence felt in good company next year.
The only racing in Germany this weekend is a very low level card at Munich on Saturday, followed by more of the same at Dortmund on sand on Monday. We shall be back in the next issue of Turf Times to discuss more general subjects.