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The English page - Markus Klug the new Aidan O´Brien?

Classic prospect: Mountaha winning at Cologne. www.galoppfoto.de - Stephanie Gruttmann


David Conolly-Smith


Ausgabe 718 vom Freitag, 13.05.2022

After several classic trials now run, it appears that trainer Markus Klug holds a similar position in Germany to that held by Aidan O'Brien in Ireland and the U.K. He has won all three major trials which have so far been run and holds an extremely strong hand for the big 3yo races to come. According to bookmaker RaceBets, he has the favourite for next week's German 2,000 Guineas, the filly Mylady (The Grey Gatsby); she was the first filly in half a century to win the Dr. Busch-Memorial at Krefeld, and would be the first filly in half a century to win the Cologne classic. 

Klug also trains the first four in the betting for the Union-Rennen, also at Cologne, normally the top trial for the German Derby; shortest in the betting is Ardakan (Reliable Man), winner of a group race in Italy last year and runner-up in a listed race at Longchamp recently. Mylady is also clear favourite for the German 1,000 Guineas at Düsseldorf – the two Guineas races are three weeks apart, so it is certainly possible to run in both. In the German Derby itself, Klug has the three joint-favourites: Ardakan as well as Lavello (Zarak) and So Moonstruck (Sea the Moon), first and third a fortnight ago in Munich´s Bavarian Classic. And last, but far from least, he has the first five in the betting for the Preis der Diana (German Oaks) in early August, including Mylady again but also Mountaha (Guiliani) and Well Disposed (Dubawi), who both scored last Sunday at Cologne.

Of this pair, Mountaha, a Schlenderhan homebred, was undeniably the more impressive in fact, the way she powered home to win the Group Three Karin Baronin von Ullmann- Schwarzgold-Rennen was arguably the best 3yo performance of the season so far in Germany. It is certainly rare to see a 3yo win with such authority, and the race was over on a couple pf strides. She was held up and came as third last into the straight, but as soon as jockey Andrasch Starke asked the question, she quickened really well and was basically different class to this opposition. She was preceded by a tall reputation and started as clear favourite. Both Klug and Starke has expressed some caution beforehand regarding the distance, as she is bred to be a stayer, whereas this race was over a mile and is normally a reliable trial for the German 1,000 Guineas. She is not entered in that race, and the Preis der Diana is clearly her main target. She could go next for the Diana-Trial at Hoppegarten.

She was not only an impressive winner, but also an appropriate one, as the race is sponsored by Schlenderhan and named after Karin von Ullmann, who owned the stud for many years, and alsoSchwarzgold, the German Derby winner in 1940 and one of the best ever Schlenderhan products, both as a filly on the racecourse and later as a broodmare and the founder of an excellent family, still highly successful to this day. Baron Georg von Ullmann, as the current head of the family – Karin was his mother- presented the trophy, as is usual in such cases to the runner-up, the French-trained Chaussons Roses (New Approach), but is was in truth a one horse race and Mountaha, a half-sister to Australian Group One winner Mawingo (Tertullian), looks a really exciting prospect.

Just over an hour beflorehand Klus had saddled the Röttgen homebred filly Well Disposed (Dubawi) to win a 3yo maiden over 2200 metres. This was only her second career start and she was odds-on here, having been runner-up to Derby hopeful Lafarhho (Farhh) over this CD a month ago. Third on that occasion was Nerik (Ruler of the World), and the two of them dominated this race throughout, Well Disposed making all the running, always chased by Nerik, who  tried hard enough but could never reel in the filly, who in the end scored by 1 ½ lengths with the field well strung out.

Well Disposed is clearly useful and is entered all over, including in both the German Derby and Oaks. However it is not clear how high up she is in the Klug pecking order. Ahe has an extremelöy interesting back ground being a half-sister by Dubawi to two winners of the German Derby,Windstoss (Shirocco) and Weltstar (Soldier Hollow). She is the result of a foalsharing deal with Darley and was a 70,000 euros BBAG yearling, and hence a cheap way into Dubawi, one of the world's most expensive sires. This price seems amazingly cheap for a filly with her pedigree, but apparently she got the thumbs down from several vets at the sale. At any rate, she has now shown ability, and the form of last week´s Cologne win looks solid enough. It will be interesting to see if she can build on that, but at any rate her future as a broodmare is assured.      

This coming Saturday we have another classic trial, the listed Henkel-Stutenpreis over a mile at Düsseldorf, i.e. the same CD over which the German 1,000 Guineas will be run. Most of the fillies entered are in that race, and many of them also in the Group Three fillies race at Hamburg. Markus Klug has another good chance on Satruday with two runners, both Röttgen homebreds, Desposita (Protectionist) and Wild Gloria (Olympic Glory). The latter is the choice of the stable jockey and looks clearly the more likely of the pair, but trainer Peter Schiergen also fancies his chances here and has three fillies entered.

However the big race of the weekend is the 51st Comer Group International Oleander-Rennen over two miles at Hoppegarten, Germany´s top race for stayers. This is one race Klug cannot win – he has no runners. It looks wide open, with eleven runners, including two trained in Ireland, Bradesco (Bashkirov) and Guild (Frankel), both owned and trained by sponsor Luke Comer himself. On ratings neither appear to have much chance, but Luke Comer always likes to support his own race and won it with Raa Atoll in 2019, also a complete longshot. He was ridden that day by Josef Bojko, who will this time be aboard Guild, while John Egan (already booked on the undercard) partners Bradesco. This race has often been won by top class stayers, such as Altano (Lando), who won three years running in 2012-2014 and also won the Prix du Cardan. However, with all due respect, the field does not look very strong this time and the two possible winners are Loft (Adlerflug), who has the highest official rating, and the supplemented Nubius (Dylan Thomas). However an upset seems more than likely - perhaps even one of the Irish runners on this Irish Race Day?

David Conolly-Smith

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