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Iquitos in Munich. www.galoppfoto.de - WiebkeArt

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David Conolly-Smith

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Ausgabe 543 vom Freitag, 09.11.2018

Last Thursday´s Grosser Preis von Bayern in Munich ended in a convincing win for Stall Mulligan´s six-year-old entire Iquitos (Adlerflug), who came from last place with a devastating run to lead a furlong out and score by four lengths from Defoe (Dalakhani) with another four lengths back to Dee Ex Bee (Farhh). The two placed horses, both trained in England, have solid Group One form to their name, and while the very soft ground probably resulted in the exaggerated distances at the line, this was undeniably a smart performance from Iquitos, a consistent performer at the top level for the past two years; at four he won the Grosser Preis von Baden and at five the Grosser Dallmayr-Preis. Clearly at his best on a left-handed track and on soft ground, he found conditions ideal at Munich and the handicapper as a result has put him up to his highest-ever rating of GAG 100 (international 120), which makes him the best horse currently in training in Germany. This success also brought him his second victory in the German Champions League, and it must be quite likely that he will be voted Germany´s Horse of the Year for the second time.

Iquitos, a small but very neat horse, is a real credit to his veteran trainer Hans-Jürgen Gröschel (75), but both he and his owners, a group of golfing friends, made it clear after the race that they would like to retire him and find a nice place for him at stud. There have apparently been offers, but none to be seriously considered. His sire Adlerflug (In the Wings) won the German Derby in 2007 and has done well, and is also distantly related to Allegretta, the dam of Urban Sea and second dam of Galileo and Sea The Stars, while his own dam Irika (Areion) represents a solid, but not spectacular, family, which has been based at Gestüt Evershorst for many generations. The stallion scene in Germany is at present very weak, so that a place in France or Ireland would be ideal, but his small size has put off some potential buyers.

We also saw a good two-year-old race in Munich, which was won by Quian (Mastercraftsman) by three parts of a length from Ladykiller (Kamsin). The latter ran very green and had he kept straight it would have been a very close finish. They were previous winners and conceded weight to all the others; both are entered in the 2019 Deutsches Derby and look to be potentially very interesting three-year-olds. The winner, a 54,000 euros BBAG yearling bred by Fährhof, is out of a Monsun mare who was a half-sister to multiple Group One winner Quijano (Acatenango) from the family of Arc winner Solemia and Derby winner Authorized. Ladykiller was bred by Karlshof, cost 33,000 euros at BBAG and is out of group race winner Lady Jacamira (Lord of England). The Munich race was over a mile, but both can be expected to stay the Derby distance next year.

An even more interesting classic prospect for 2019 was seen at Krefeld last Sunday when Darius Racing´s filly Donjah (Teofilo) ran away with the Herzog von Ratibor-Rennen , winning in impressive style by six lengths. She had won her only previous race equally easily, but was meeting much better opposition this time. On both occasions she was the only filly in the field (and incidentally became only the second filly to win the Ratibor-Rennen in the last 40 years), which is especially interesting in view of the fact that she has been entered in both next year´ s German Derby and Preis der Diana. It has become quite rare for fillies to run in both races, although there were winners of both in the 1930s and 1940s. In recent years we have seen Borgia (Acatenango) win the 1997 Derby after running second in the Diana, while in 2002 Salve Regina (Monsun) won the Diana before running up in the Derby. In those days the Preis der Diana was run at Mülheim four or five weeks before the Derby at Hamburg; now the race is run in Düsseldorf a month after the Derby, i.e. in early August. The Hamburg race club is hoping to attract more fillies to run in their classic by means of various incentives, and it is possible that their efforts might bear fruit with Donjah, although of course this is still a long way off.

Donjah was bred by Karlshof and was knocked down to Holger Faust (whose parents own the stud, but who also acts as racing manager for Darius Racing) for 100,000 euros at the BBAG Yearling Sale. She is by Teofilo, whose son Cross Counter won the Melbourne Cup this week, out of an Italian-raced daughter of Mt. Livermore. The family has American roots, but is now established in several countries. It has been a good few days for Karlshof; they are also the breeders of A Raving Beauty (Mastercraftsman), who was Group One-placed in Italy last year and then sold to the USA for 230,000 euros at Arqana in December. She has won two Group One races in USA for her new owners this year before finishing an excellent third in the Breeders´ Cup Fillies and Mares Turf last Saturday, following which she was sold for two million dollars to Haruya Yoshida at Fasig-Tipton this week. The Yoshida family own many of the best Germans mares of recent years. While Karlshof do not profit from this latest sale, it was still a win-win situation for all concerned.

Donjah is trained in Cologne by 35-year-old Henk Grewe, who is having an excellent year. He only started training in 2014, but has already notched up 200 winners. This season he is currently in fifth position in the trainers´ statistics by number of winners (fourth by prize-money) and has in addition saddled more than 40 winners in France. He is supported by some high profile owners and the future looks bright. Markus Klug has been the leading trainer three times in the past four years and looks almost certain to be so again in 2018, both in terms of winners and prize-money won. He saddled three runners in the Herzog von Ratibor-Rennen and they filled the three places behind Donjah. All three also have a Derby entry and Dschingis First (Soldier Hollow) in particular looks an interesting prospect; the 500,000 euros sales-topper at the 2017 BBAG Yearling Sale, he is an own brother to two colts who have been placed in the Deutsches Derby.

The season is coming to an end, and there are only two more meetings on turf (plus seven low key fixtures on the sand tracks at Dortmund and Neuss): this Sunday at Munich, where the most interesting race looks to be the 2yo maiden, and at Dresden in a fortnight´s time, where there is a huge entry for the listed race over eleven furlongs, including candidates from most of the top stables.

David Conolly-Smith

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