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Gr. I-winner Quilixios, by Maxios. Foto: Horse Racing Ireland


David Conolly-Smith


Ausgabe 655 vom Freitag, 12.02.2021

When we wrote last week that it was “only a matter of time” before Getaway sired his first Grade One winner over jumps, we certainly did not imagine that it would take less than 48 hours, but that indeed happened last Saturday when his son Sporting John won the Grade One Scilly Isles Novice Chase at Sandown park at very generous odds of 14-1. Sporting John was held up in last place, but came with a very strong run to win in the end very easily; he is entered in all three big novice chases at the Cheltenham N.H. Festival.

Getaway, who was bred and owned by Baron Ullmann, also owner of his sire Monsun, was a top class racehorse who won the Grosser Preis von Baden in impressive fashion against strong foreign opposition, retired to stud in 2011 and covers mainly N.H. mares at Coolmore´s Grange Stud at a fee of 9,000 euros. He has had huge books right from the start and is now firmly established as a top N.H. sire. Not only did he celebrate his first Grade One winner on Saturday, he had a great weekend with a winner in Pau as well as three winners on Sunday at Musselburgh, at one of the top Scottish meetings of the N.H. season. One of them was Fire Away, who landed a huge gamble in the novices handicap chase, although the heavily bet treble failed to come off. His other winners there were Bareback Jack in the Scottish Supreme Novices Hurdle and Get The Appeal in a handicap hurdle.

Other winners at Musselburgh were Fiveandtwenty in the Scottish Champion Hurdle and Event Of Sivola in the 3 mile handicap chase. The former is by Farhh, not strictly speaking German-bred but out of the Auenquelle mare Gonbarda (Lando), while the latter is by Noroit, who we remember well from the days when he was trained in Munich by Wolfgang Figge; Noroit, who stood at Haras de Sivola in France sired several very useful N.H. performers before this death in 2019.

At Musselburgh on Saturday, Getaway sired the runner-up in the novice chase, while the Scottish Champion Chase was won by Ruinous (Aizavovski), the Edinburgh National by Mighty Thunder (Malinas) and the hunters chase by Salvatore (Schiaparelli). Getaway, Aizavovski, Schiaparelli and Noroit are all sons of Monsun, while the Fährhof-bred Malinas (Lomitas), runner-up to Shirocco in the 2004 German Derby, was out of a Königsstuhl mare who was very closely related.

However the Sandown and Musselburgh meetings were only minor affairs when compared to the action at the Irish fixture at Leopardstown, with eight Grade one races and some extremely valuable handicaps. Here we saw several winners who will almost certainly play a major role at Cheltenham in March. One of the top stars was undoubtedly the 7yo mare Honeysuckle, trained by Henry de Bromhead and ridden as always by Rachael Blackmore. She was repeating her 2020 success in the same race, but this time was much more impressive and scored by ten lengths. She is now unbeaten in ten starts and is favourite for the “real thing” at Cheltenham. By Sulamani, she is out of the German mare First Royal (Lando), previously trained by Pavel Vovcenko. The dam is out of a Nebos mare from a family that produced many winners for both Manfred Ostermann and the Leisten family.

Runner-up here – at a respectable distance- was Abracadabras, the best performer so far sired by Davidoff (Montjeu), who stood at the Haras de Saint Arnoult. Davidoff, whose dam Dapprima (Shareef Dancer) was runner-up in the 1996 German 1,000 Guineas, was trained by Peter Schiergen to win the 2007 Dr. Busch-Memorial for Margot Herbert. He traces back to Röttgen´s 1972 Preis der Diana winner Diu, as does arguably the best German-bred N.H. star of all, Gold Cup winner Don Cossack (Sholokhov).

Also at Leopardstown on Saturday we saw the German-bred Notebook (Ssmum) finish third in the Grade One Dublin Chase and on Sunday Delta Work (Network) was also third in the Grade One Irish Gold Cup. Much more significant from the German point of view was the easy victory of Quilixios in the Grade One Spring Juvenile Hurdle. Quilixios (Maxios) was bred by Fährhof and is closely related to their 2007 Grosser Preis von Baden winner Quijano. He has now won all four starts over hurdles, the first of them in France, where he was trained by Francois Nicolle. He was then sold to Ireland where is trained by Gordon Elliott and looks a great prospect. He is now second favourite for the Triumph Hurdle at Cheltenham, the only problem being that the favourite, the Aga Khan-bred Zanahiyr (Nathaniel) is also trained by Gordon Elliott and whether he will race these two unbeaten 4yo´s against each other remains to be seen. Leading British hope for the Triumph is David Pipe´s Adagio (Wiener Walzer), bred by Schlenderhan and whose second dam Astilbe is a daughter of Monsun.

Maxios is of course also by Monsun, and when he first arrived in Germany for the 2014 breeding season, hopes were very high; he was a dual Group One winner and extremely well-bred from a top Niarchos family and half-brother to an Arc winner. However his first crop proved rather disappointing, so it was no great surprise when he was later sold to Coolmore as a N.H. sire. It now seems that the Irish stud have got the better of the bargain, as not only did Maxios sire a Group One winner (Diamanta in the Preis der Diana) in his second crop, his N.H. runners have already made a most favourable impression. He has had numerous winners over hurdles and has been a huge hit with Irish breeders, covering 289 mares last year, more than any other stallion in Britain or Ireland. He appears well on the way to stardom in this new sphere. At Kempton this Tuesday, his son the Fährhof-bred Ecco, now trained by Paul Nicholls, won a “jumpers bumper” in pleasing style having already won three times over hurdles ; he is a half-brother to German Derby runner-up Enjoy Vijay (Nathaniel). Wild Max, a member of the celebrated “W” family, is a leading hope for Saturday´s Betfair Hurdle – if the meeting goes ahead- while Röttgen-bred Aramax won the Fred Winter at the 2020 Cheltenham Festival.

This writer remembers Monsun well and saw almost all of his races in his 1993/4 campaigns, including his Group One victories in the Aral-Pokal and Preis von Europa (twice). He was a very well-made, medium-sized colt with excellent conformation and, according to reports, had an excellent character as well. He has passed on these positive attributes to many of his offspring; he stood for his entire stud career at Schlenderhan and died in 2012, but it is clear that his influence will be with us for many years yet.

David Conolly-Smith

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