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Ito, the new German star. www.galoppfoto.de - Sarah Bauer


David Conolly-Smith


Ausgabe 371 vom Donnerstag, 11.06.2015

One can have too much of a good thing, and certainly the sun that beat down relentlessly on Baden-Baden last week comes into that category. With temperatures up to 35 degrees, it was quite an ordeal and the result was that there were a large number of non-runners and that betting turnover and gate receipts were down. However the general atmosphere was positive and there some smart performances on the track, with pride of place clearly going to Gestüt Schlenderhan´s homebred Ito (Adlerflug), easy winner of the meeting´s main event, the Group Two Grosser Preis der Badischen Unternehmer on the Sunday.

The complete race video, photos  and full result here (under "Renndetails"/Ito /No. 3: Klick!

Schlenderhan won this race in 2014 with Almandin, later sold to Australia and who has apparently not run since, but the two previous winners were champions Novellist and Danedream, who both went on to win the King George, so Ito has a lot to live up to. He was taking a huge leap in class here, having on his previous run won a listed race, but he has only ever run seven times (winning five times) so he clearly has potential for further improvement. So far his future plans are not clear cut, but obviously a return here to run in the Grosser Preis in early September is now the target. That race was won last year by his distant relation Ivanhowe for the same connections, who followed up running in the Arc and Japan Cup- and both those races are no doubt on the radar as well.

Ito has what may be called a classic Schlenderhan pedigree, as his sire Adlerflug (In the Wings) won the Deutsches Derby in their colours in 2007, while his dam Iota (Tiger Hill) won them the Preis der Diana in 2005; not only that, the fifth dam Idrissa also won the Preis der Diana for Schlenderhan exactly forty years ago. They trace back to Yonne, a French mare who was imported into Germany during the second world war and has had a huge influence. The Baden-Baden race was over eleven furlongs, but it is clear from his pedigree that Ito stays a mile and a half and probably further, and he also has the speed to win at middle distances.

The story of the race is soon told, as jockey Filip Minarik jumped Ito straight into the lead, and he never saw another horse; Minarik looked around at the distance for non-existent dangers and he could probably have won by much more than the official distance of four lengths had the jockey ridden him right out. Outsiders Nicolosio (Peintre Celebre) and Spend the Cash (also by Adlerflug, who had a couple more winners at the meeting) ran on to take the minor places but never had the slightest chance of doing better. The form, as it stands, is probably nothing special, as none of those behind him have any pretensions to genuine Group Two class, but Ito certainly won like a Group One performer and it will be interesting to see what happens when he does take on stronger opposition.

For French-born trainer Jean-Pierre Carvalho, who took over the Schlenderhan/ Ullmann stable at the beginning of last year, it was another prestigious success and he almost brought off a double in the two top races of the meeting, as Stall Ullmann´s Guiliani (Tertullian) went under by only a short head in the Group Two Badener Meile after the most exciting finish of the week. The winner, confirmed only after a photograph and a lengthy stewards´ inquiry, was Gestüt Winterhauch´s Amaron (Shamardal), who is the most consistent German miler in training; the six-year-old, trained in Cologne by Andreas Löwe, was winning his eighth group race (including an Italian Group One) and it is his trainer´s stated intention to make it ten.

Of the various listed races run at the meeting, the most easiest winners were both trained in France by Henri-Alex Pantall and partnered by Fabrice Veron: Val d´Hiver (Zafeen) took the Diana-Trial by six lengths, despite hanging badly, from U.K. challengers Ceaseless (Iffraaj) and Waldnah (New Approach), while Zylpha (Elusive City) took the six-furlongs Benazet-Rennen by three lengths from Carvalho´s Donnerschlag (Bahamian Bounty); that latter race is a “win and you´re in” qualifier for the Group Two Goldene Peitsche over the same course and distance at the end of August, and the filly, who established a new course record, will presumably now be aimed at that prestigious event.

The complete race video, photos  and full result here (under "Renndetails"/Val d´Hiver/No. 2: Klick!

The action switches this week to Cologne, where Sunday´s Group Two 180. Oppenheim Union-Rennen is the main event. It is generally regarded as the most reliable trial for the IDEE 146. Deutsches Derby, run three weeks later at Hamburg, and Sea The Moon won both races last year. The betting market for the Derby is dominated by three horses at present, and we were hoping to see two of them clash in this race, Gestüt Fährhof´s unbeaten Quasillo (Sea The Stars) and the Australian-owned but Brümmerhof-bred Shimrano (Monsun). However it is reported that Quasillo has a bruised foot and will miss the race. “It is nothing serious,” says trainer Andreas Wöhler, “but he has missed two days´work and we cannot risk him; I would like to give him another race before the Derby, and that is likely to be in Bremen´s listed race next Sunday.”  Shimrano, trained at Hanover by Irishman Paul Harley, won the Derby Trial at his local track very easily and it will now be a surprise if he is beaten here; the main danger is probably Stall Nizza´s Nutan, trained locally by Peter Schiergen and ridden by his son Dennis. The trainer himself is likely to be at Chantilly with his main jockey Andrasch Starke, where they run the same owner´s Nightflower in the Prix de Diane.

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