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Ladykiller will travel to Cagnes-sur-mer this weekend. www.galoppfoto.de - Sabine Brose


David Conolly-Smith


Ausgabe 606 vom Freitag, 21.02.2020

Things are still very quiet in German racing at the moment, with Dortmund´s Sunday meetings the only racing actually taking place until racing on turf resumes in mid-March. However there is plenty of racing going on, and some German trainers are taking advantage of the better prize-money on offer elsewhere. Dr. Andreas Bolte has sent his useful handicapper Fuego del Amor (Dream Ahead) to the Dubai Racing Carnival and he ran for the third time there, but ended once more unplaced. 

The big French winter meeting at Cagnes-sur-mer ends on Saturday, when there will be two German-trained runners in the listed Grand Prix du department 06, the first stage of the valuable Defi du Galop series. Chouain (Rajsaman), trained in Iffezheim by Miroslav Rulec – who has had a good meeting – won last time out in Cagnes and also won there last year. However this is a strong race, and Andreas Wöhler´s Ladykiller (Kamsin) has in theory a much better chance. He won the Group Three Silbernes Pferd  at Hoppegarten last year; Ladykiller stays very well, but the drying ground may not suit. There is also racing today at Chantilly and Lyon with quite a few German runners, and considering that this has been yet another very mild winter, it can be assumed that most German training centres are currently humming with activity.

There are no German runners in this week´s big meeting in Qatar, but there is certainly a German aspect to next week´s Saudi Cup meeting in Riyadh. There are no German runners in the big race itself, worth 20 million US dollars (and thus at the moment the richest race in the world), but Andreas Wöhler is sending the smart 5yo Royal Youmzain (Youmzain) to run in the Neom Turf Cup over 2100 metres. There is prize-money of a million dollars here as well and if Royal Youmzain is anywhere near his best form of 2017, when he was a close third in the German Derby, he should be able to collect some of it. Also present in Riyadh will be Sibylle Vogt, Germany´s most successful lady jockey, who takes part in an international jockeys´ competition on the Friday of next week.

Wöhler has certainly the best record of any German trainer in these big international events, his cv including Ascot´s King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes, Australia´s Melbourne Cup, the Arlington Million in the USA, France´s top staying race the Prix Cadran and many more Group One races worldwide. Protectionist´s victory in the Melbourne Cup in 2014 clearly helped awaken Australian interest in German-breds, especially as he was the third winner of the race sired by Monsun. Many German horses have in the meantime been sold to Australia, including last year´s German Derby runner-up Django Freeman (Campanologist). Two Hungarian horses that raced in Germany have also been sold recently to Australia. One of them, the 2018 Hungarian Derby winner Esti Feny (Pigeon Catcher), makes his debut down under for trainer Matthew Smith tomorrow (Friday) in the Canberra Mile, although presumably races over further will then follow, while news came in this week that German-bred Nancho (Tai Chi), winner of last year´s Grosser Preis von Bayern, is also going to Australia to be trained by Anthony Cummings (son of the legendary Bart Cummings) with the Melbourne Cup as his declared target. Protectionist (Monsun) himself is now at stud at Gestüt Röttgen and we are greatly looking forward to his first runners this year.

Meanwhile the N.H. season in the U.K. and Ireland is in full swing, despite the cancellation of several meetings recently as a result of the stormy weather, and we have had quite a few winners by German sires, particularly those by sons of Monsun. Sporting John (Getaway) won well at Ascot last Saturday and is now unbeaten in three starts over hurdles – Cheltenham now beckons. The same day saw Nordano (Jukebox Jury) run out a very easy winner of a valuable hurdle handicap; he was bred by Gestüt Etzean and he is out of a Monsun mare; he is very closely related to Wöhler´s King George winner Novellist (Monsun), now at stud in Japan. At Gowran Park Queen´s Brook won a bumper in impressive style and this son of Shirocco, who cost 160,000 GBP at Tattersalls Cheltenham Sale last November, looks likely to go a long way. Getaway and Shirocco are certainly the main flagbearers for their sire Monsun at present, but other sons Manduro, Okovango, Arcadio et al have all had winners over jumps this month and Monsun is acquiring quite a reputation in this sphere.

Italy is not known for N.H. racing, but they have quite a good programme and their best 4yo jumper currently is Kölsche Jung (Wiener Walzer), a group race winner at Pisa last week. He was bred by the late Horst Dieter Beyer (HODIBE), and although Monsun does not figure in his pedigree, his sire was a Schlenderhan homebred, and Monsun of course spent his entire stud career at Schlenderhan. Even at this quiet time of year, German-breds are continuing to do well all over the world.

David Conolly-Smith



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