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The English page - German stallions (continued)

New for 2023: Rubaiyat, pictured in November. www.galoppfoto.de - Sandra Scherning


David Conolly-Smith


Ausgabe 751 vom Freitag, 13.01.2023

As mentioned here last week, the number of active thoroughbred stallions standing in Germany has shrunk quite alarmingly this year, in line with the number of broodmares. There were 100 stallions standing here at the turn of the century and now only half that number. And to be brutally frank, only half of these are of really serious interest. However the three new sires for 2023 are definitely of interest. They followed a strong intake in 2022, featuring notably Japan, Alson and Windstoss, while this year`s top newcomers are Torquator Tasso, Nerik and Rubaiyat. We dealt with the 2021 Arc winner Torquator Tasso in some depth last week, now we shall have a look at Nerik and Rubaiyat.

Nerik (Ruler of the World) was bred in Ireland by Ursula and Jürgen imm, whose horses race under the name Stall Nizza; they keep their best mares in Ireland where they are invariably covered by Coolmore stallions. The Imms have enjoyed considerable success in recent years, almost always with members of this "N” family. Nerik is closely related to Group One winners Nutan (Duke of Marmalade). winner of the German Derby, Nymphea (Dylan Thomas), winner of the Grosser Preis von Berlin, Nightflower (Preis von Europa), Night Petticoat (Petoski), winner of the Preis der Diana and also dam of another winner of that race Next Gina, as well as German Derby winner Next Desert. It is also the family – you might not think so from the name - of Pakistan Star, sold to Hong Kong where he was champion racehorse, The family, which has also had great success for Gestüt Wittekindshof and other German breeders, traces back to one of Tesio´s leading families, that of Catnip.

Nerik is inbred 3x3 to Sadler´s Wells and obviously has the right pedigree. Unfortunately he only ran eight times before his extremely promising career was cut short by injury. After easily winning his Maiden at Baden-Baden´s Spring Meeting, he moved up in class to run second in a listed Derby trial at Düsseldorf, and then ran an excellent race in the Derby itself when he finished a close fifth. This was his best performance so far, but even follow was to follow as on his next start he was runner-up-to Rebel ´s Romance, subsequent winner of the Preis von Europa and the Breeders´ Cup Turf in the Grosser Preis von Berlin. That was sadly the race where he picked up the injury which ended his career; otherwise he would surely have gone on to further stop class success It is certainly a pity that Nerik has had to retired to stud without a group race victory to his name, but he is a highly interesting prospect. He is now the property of a syndicate and is to stand at Vollblutgestüt Lindenhof in Hamburg for a fee of 3,900 euros.

Nerik of course was a 3yo last year, and now at 4 is the youngest sire standing in this country. Rubaiyat is a different case, as he is now 6 and enjoyed a full career. His own sire, the admirable veteran Areion (Big Shuffle) died last year at the age 27, so it seems fitting that Rubaiyat, one of his best sons, now should be available to take his place. In all Rubaiyat won 8 of his 25 starts and was placed seven times, almost all in group races. He was the clear champion of his crop as a 2yo, when he won all four of his starts, including the Preis des Winterfavoriten and the Group Two Gran Criterion at Milan. Theoretically then we was favourite for the German Derby in 2020, but he was a fact a specialist miler and never going to be a Derby horse. He was voted German Horse of the Year in 2019, an unusual honour for a German-trained juvenile. He was bred by Gestüt Karlshof and sold as a yearling for 26,000 euros, racing throughout in the colours of Darius Racing. His dam Representera (Lomitas) won in France and was an own sister to French group race winner Becomes You; their dam Joyeuse Entrée (Kendor) was herself a group race winner in France but also bred seven winners, nearly all in France, including the Group One Poule d´Essai des Poulains victor Tin Horse, also Group One-placed 2yo. This is a family of milers, and Rubaiyat continued the family tradition, becoming runner-up in both the German and Italian 2,000 Guineas. At four he won the Group Two Premio Vittorio di Capua. He signed off by taking the Group Three Premio Ribot Memorial Loreta Luciani at five, and thus remained rellable to the end. He was also placed several times in German group races at distances between eight and ten furlongs. He was clearly one of the best German milers seen so far this century.

Most of Nerik´s group winning relatives were best at a mile and a half and it will be intriguing to see what happens when his progeny meet Rubaiyat´s in four of five years´ time, but both are certainly enrichments to the stallion scene in Germany. Rubaiyat, now owned by Darius Racing in partnership with their racing manager Holger Faust is to stand at Gestüt Ohlerweiherhof for a fee of 4,500 euros. Prize-money is relatively low in this country when compared to the U.K., France and Ireland, and stallion fees are also considerably lower. It is interesting to note that the ITM 17th Irish Stallion Trail takes place this weekend, featuring no fewer than 140 stallions. The German bloodstock industry continues to punch above its weight, but is difficult indeed to compete on level term against such opposition. The closest we have here is the “Züchtertreff” at Gestüt Röttgen in a fortnight´s time, where 16 stallions well be paraded, including the newcomers, Nerik and Rubaiyat, and all three of Röttgen´s resident sires, Millowitsch, Protectionist and Windstoss.

David Conolly-Smith

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