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The English page - Hoppegarten disappointment, Munich supplementary

Gr. III-winner Adrian, Andrasch Starke on board. www.galoppfoto.de - Sabine Brose


David Conolly-Smith


Ausgabe 678 vom Freitag, 23.07.2021

Biggest race in Germany last week was the Group Three Fürstenberg-Rennen for 3yo´s and up over 2400 metres at Hoppegarten. This race has a long history and was usually for 3yo´s only durmg Baden-Baden´s Grosse Woche. However the character of the race has changed completely, it is now for all age groups and in mid-July and has been run at various different courses before finally settling down in Hoppegarten. However  as senior handicapper Harald Siemen has explained inhis blog this week, the race seems now pointless when it is run just two weeks after the German Derby, and this year´s edition turned out to be a damp squib. Of the seven declared runners only one was a three-year-old, Gestüt Paschberg´s Quebueno (Adlerflug), who had won the listed Hanover Derby trial but missed the big race itself as trainer Jean-Pierre Carvalho had three other more highly-rated runners in that event.

Unfortunately Quebueno, though undeniably useful, can also be difficult at the start, and this time he was on his worst behavior and finally had to be withdrawn. He would have started favourite and in his absence the race was, with all due respect a second eleven affair. In the end Gestüt Auenquelle´s Adrian (Reliable Man) ran out a ready winner to continue the good run of trainer Henk Grewe and jockey Andrasch Starke. Held up in mid-division, he quickened nicely to score by half a length from Nubius (Dylan Thomas) and the filly Deia (Soldier Hollow), both trained by Peter Schiergen. This was a nice performance, but one could hardly claim that it was a strong race, as none of the runners had ever won a group race and the fact that no three-year-old ran certainly does not make the form look any better.

Adrian has been rated GAG 91 (=international 102) for this victory, an extremely low rating for a group race winner. He was bred by Gestüt Röttgen and was a 52,000 euros BBAG yearling. He is another good winner from Röttgen´s highly successful “A” family, whose biggest star was the 1981 Preis der Diana (Oaks) winner Anna Paola (Prince Ippi), who was later sold to Sheikh Mohammed and founded a dynasty that has won big races all over the world, the most recent example being this year´s Epsom Derby winner Adayar (Frankel), due to run in the King George this Saturday.

That is obviously the best race of the week in Europe, but Germany also has a Group One event at the weekend, Munich´s Grosser Dallmayr-Preis over 2000 metres on Sunday. This is Germany´s best middle distance event and has frequently been the top-rated race of the year here.  However the race has cut up badly, and even Godolphin, who have won the last two runnings, do not have a runner this time. Luckily we have had a supplementary entry from France, Jerome Reynier´s Skalleti (Kendargent), who is by any measure one of the best distance specialists in Europe. He is unbeaten in three starts this season, including the Group One Prix d´Ispahan, and the form of all these races looks very solid, as does his second place last October in Ascot´s Champion Stakes.

The old adage has it that there are only two certainties in life, death and taxes, but there can also be a certainty in racing, and that is Skalleti in this race, as he has ten pounds in hand on official ratings. He is the only Group One winner in the field and appears to have a simple task. He will be partnered by veteran jockey Gerald Mossé, who rode him to victory in the Prix d´Ispahan, and although his best form has all been on soft or heavy going, that should not be a problem at Munich, which is generally regarded as the best track in Germany as far as the racing surface is concerned, and in any case a lot of rain is forecast.

He is opposed by five German-trained rivals, three of them 4yo´s, the best of whom could be Dr. Christoph Berglar´s Grocer Jack (Oasis Dream), in the opinion of this writer the best German performer over this distance. However Grocer Jack was a long way behind Skalleti when they met in the spring, and he is also well held on collateral form. Grocer Jack defeated the filly No Limit Credit (Night of Thunder) when they met in Italy in May, but there is probably not much between them. The other 4yo is the filly Tabera (Gleneagles), a front-runner, who may set up the race for a stronger finisher.

The two 3yo´s bring decent classic form to the race. Mythico (Adlerflug) won this season´s German 2,000 Guineas, and should stay the extra two furlongs here, while Lord Charming (Charm Spirit) possibly found the distance too far when a good fourth in the German Derby three weeks ago. It is not yet clear how good the German 3yo form is this year (Quebueno would have helped last week!), but so far it does not look especially strong. However if Skalleti is anywhere near his normal-form - and so far he has been extremely consistent -  then he will prove extremely hard to beat.

David Conolly-Smith

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