There is very little happening in German racing at the moment. There are six more fixtures on Dortmund´s sand track until late March, when racing on turf begins again. In the meantime there will be plenty of German-trained runners at the Cagnes-sur-Mer meeting, which started this week, and also a few at the St. Moritz meeting on the frozen lake in February (assuming the weather allows this to take place). There have also been entries for German runners at the extremely valuable meetings in Saudi Arabia next month, as well as the Dubai Racing Carnival.
On the whole, German–trained runners did well last year. According to figures published recently by Deutscher Galopp, there were 2.733 starters last year, and they brought back with them 8.3 million euros in prize-money, more or less in line with most recent year. The vast majority of these runners were in France, but they also did extremely well in Italy, where German raiders won all five classics and numerous other black type events. There were also German-trained group race winners in the U.K. (Goodwood) and the USA (Belmont Park), while Torquator Tasso´s placed efforts in the King George the the “Arc” also paid handsomely.
Torquator Tasso (Adlerflug) is clearly the best German-bred and –trained performer s for some time and has now been retired to his owners´ stud Gestüt Auenquelle, where he will shortly embark on his new career at a fee of 20,000 euros. His career earnings of over 4.2. miilion euros are a German record. In the International Classifications published this week he is rated 124, making him the joint 5th best racehorse worldwide in 2022. The two superstars Flightline (Tapit) and Baeed (Sea the Stars) are clear best on 140 and 135 respectively, but no real surprise there.
It is very interesting to note that in the category “long distance” which seems to mean 2400 metres (a mile and a half) Pyledriver (Harbour Watch), who defeated him in the King George, he and the Japanese crack Titleholder (Duramente) are joint top-rated on 124, with Arc winner Alpinista (Frankel), who would have been receiving three pounds sex allowance should they ever have met, next on 123 and Rebel´s Romance (Dubawi) next on 122, having won twice in Germany in 2022, while Grosser Preis von Baden winner Mendocino (Adlerflug) is on 117. This is quite a compliment to these top German Group One races over the classic distance which have always been really strong events in recent years.
One feature of the 2022 season was the total dominance of older horses, three-year-olds playing virtually no part in the top events. The top-rated 3yo of all is the Japanese-bred and –trained Equinox (Kitasan Black) on 126. Two more Japanese 3yo´s figure in the top ten, while the best European 3yo is adjudged to have been French-bred Vadeni. (Churchill). The top German 3yo was Holger Renz` Tünnes (Guiliani), trained by Peter Schiergen. Noone who saw him win the Grosser Preis von Bayern is likely to quibble with that, although he later rather blotted his copybook with a slow start in the Japan Cup
Schiergen also trained the German Derby winner Sammarco (Camelot), but he is only rated 115, the same as Maljoom (Caravaggio), easy winner of the German 2,000 Guineas for Newmarket trainer William Haggas. Schiergen could have a lot of fun with this pair this year but it will not be easy keeping them apart. One can imagine Sammarco being again aimed at the Grosser Dallmayr-Preis over 2000 metres, which he won last year, with Tünnes more likely to run in the top European 2400 metres events.