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Jukebox Jury. www.galoppfoto.de - Sandra Scherning

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David Conolly-Smith

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Ausgabe 657 vom Freitag, 26.02.2021

With very little happening on the flat in Germany – just very low level racing on Dortmund´s sand track for the next three Sundays, before the turf season begins at Krefeld on March 21st – it is worth taking another look at the N.H. scene in Britain and Ireland, and particularly the continuing success of German-bred stallions in that sphere, notably the many sons of Monsun (Königsstuhl), now recognized as a huge influence in N.H. racing, second only to Sadler´s Wells as a sire of N.H. sires.

We shall include here three horses who were not German-bred, two of whom indeed never ran in Germany, but who nevertheless started their stud careers in Germany before being sold to Ireland to continue their career as a N.H. stallion. They are Doyen and Sholokhov, both in fact Group One winning sons of Sadler´s Wells, while the one with German form is the grey Jukebox Jury (Montjeu), who was trained by Mark Johnston to win the 2009 Preis von Europa and went on to win the Irish St. Leger in a dead-heat. He started his stud career at Etzean, but is now at the Connollys´ Burbage Stud in Co. Carlow (no relation!).

Jukebox Jury has sired numerous winners on the flat, including (perhaps surprisingly for a stayer) some decent 2yo performers, but is now really coming into prominence as a N.H. sire. His latest winner here is Alkopop, who scored last week at Fontwell. However his best – and also best-known – performer is a mare who was bought to go hurdling but instead turned out to be a sensation on the flat. This is of course the amazing Princess Zoe, bred by Gestüt Höny-Hof and named after Simon Minch´s daughter, previously trained by Stefan Richter in Dresden, but now with Tony Mullins in Co. Kilkenny, Wilie´s younger brother. After finishing second in a modest handicap on her Irish debut, Princess Zoe won a handicap at the Curragh in July off an official rating of 70 and went on to won her next four races, culminating in the Group One Prix du Cadran on Arc day, She actually has an entry in a mares´ hurdle race at Cheltenham, but trainer Mullins has announced that the Arc itself will be her main target, so Cheltenham may get a miss. In any case she has been a great advertisement for German breeding. Jukebox Jury´s best winner so far over hurdles is Farclas, who won the Triumph Hurdle at Cheltenham in 2018.

Sholokhov (Sadler´s Wells) also started his stud career at Etzean. He was one of Aidan O´Brien´s stars in his record-breaking year, winning a Group One as a 2yo in Italy and the following season was runner-up in the Irish Derby. He retired to Etzean in 2004 and moved to Glenview Stud in 2012. During his Etzean period he sired many smart performers, notably Preis der Diana and Grosser Preis von Baden winner Night Magic, She was later sold to Japan where she is the dam of three winners, all fillies by Deep Impact. Glenview Strud, owned by the Cashman family, is together with the associated Rathbarry Stud, one of Ireland´s leading stallion stations, and also stand Malinas (Lomitas), who is closely related to Monsun, and Shirocco (Monsun), who is currently enjoying a real purple patch. Sholokhov is sire of the currently unbeaten Shishkin, a Grade One winner at Cheltenham last year and now one of the favourites for the Arkle Chase there. During his German days Sholokhov also sired the Etzean-bred Don Cossack, the most successful German-bred N.H. performer of all and winner of the 2016 Cheltenham Gold Cup.

Doyen, another son of Sadler´s Wells, was bred by Darley and was a top performer for Sheikh Mohammed, winning the King George in 2014. He began his stud career at Dalham Hall, his birthplace, and then stood from 2009 to 2011 at Gestüt Auenquelle. He is now based at Sunnyhill Stud in Co. Kildare. He certainly did not do at all badly during his Auenquelle years, siring a Group One winner in Italy and many other decent performers, but seems to have found his true métier as a N.H. sire and he has an exceptional strike rate in this sphere. He is sire among others of Beacon Edge, a Grade Two winner in Ireland on Sunday.

Other winners of note last weekend were Remastered (Network), a Grade Two winner over fences at Ascot on Saturday as well as Third Wind (Shirocco), winner of the Grade Two RendleshamHurdle on the same card. On Sunday at Market Rasen Ajero (Red Jazz), Getaway North (Getaway) and Archie Brown (Aizazovski) were all successful. Network, Shirocco, Getaway and Aizazovski are of course all sons of Monsun, two other sons of whom, Arcadio and Salutino, have also had winners in the past few days, but Red Jazz (Johannesburg), who stands at Gestüt Lindenhof, is rather a surprise. He was a seven furlongs specialist and as a stallion is noted for precocious 2yo´s – he was leading first season sire in both Ireland and Italy – and to find him as a sire of winning hurdlers as well certainly opens up new doors.

There is now big money in the market for promising N.H. performers, and two of the most expensive purchases have run in the past few days. Gallyhill (Getaway) was runner-up in a strong novices hurdle at Ascot on Saturday and Interconnected(Network) was also runner-up today (Thursday) at Huntingdon. Both these youngsters, both by sons of Monsun, ran very green and are expected to show significant improvement before long. The former cost his new owner 450,000 euros, while the latter is reportedly the most expensive N.H. horse ever sold at 620,000 GBP. It is the confident prediction of this column that both will be winning good races before the end of this season.

David Conolly-Smith

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