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The English page - Quiet period in Germany

Alaskasonne, booking the ticket for the German Oaks. www.galoppfoto.de - Stephanie Gruttmann


David Conolly-Smith


Ausgabe 677 vom Freitag, 16.07.2021

Following the five group races run during the Hamburg Derby meeting at the beginning of the month, mid-July is obviously a quiet period in German racing, and there were no group races run here last week, just four listed events, two of them restricted to fillies and mares. In actual fact all four of them were won by the so-called weaker sex, and in three cases the winner made all the running to score easily.

As far as the future is concerned, the most significant race was the listed BBAG Diana Trial over 2000 metres at Mülheim, where Gestüt  Röttgen´s homebred Alaskasonne (Soldier Hollow) made all and won very convincingly to score by 4 ½ lengths from Noble Vita (Kendargent) and the favourite Kolossal (Outstrip). This was the last major trial for the Group One Preis der Diana (German Oaks), to be run at Düsseldorf on August 1st, and Alaskasonne now clearly comes into the reckoning for that classic, especially as the sharp Düsseldorf track suits front-runners. However this was probably not a strong race and bookmakers were not impressed, Alaskasonne being still available at prices well north of 20-1. The handicapper has given her a GAG rating of 90 (=international 100), up 11 kilos from her pre-race rating of 79, which certainly puts her in the race with a chance.

Any smart Röttgen performer whose name starts with the letter “A” reminds one immediately of the great Anna Paola (Prince Ippi), winner of the Preis der Diana in 1981, sold the following year to Sheikh Mohammed and the direct ancestress of a whole heap pf top class racehorses, including this year´s Epsom Derby winner Adayer (Frankel). Alaskasonne is from the same family, her fourth dam Anständige (Star Appeal) being a half-sister to Anna Paola. She should have no problem in staying the extra furlong in the Preis der Diana, and there will be plenty of more forlorn hopes at Düsseldorf, although it is hard to imagine any of the fillies who finished behind her last week finishing in front of her in that race.

The previous day at Dresden, Albert Darboven´s homebred 4yo filly Russian Souffle, another daughter of Soldier Hollow, had also made all the running to win the listed Grosser bwin Sommerpreis over 1900 metres, but she was very well treated by the race conditions and she will find life tougher in future. However her trainer Andreas Wöhler and his stable jockey Eduardo Pedroza teamed up again the following day at Hanover to take the listed Grosser Metallbau Burckhardt Preis for older fillies and mares over 2200 metres with the GB-bred Loveisthehigherlaw (Kodiac), once again making all the running and scoring with more in hand than the official winning margin of three parts of a length. The 5yo mare had been previously trained in Ireland by Paddy Twomey and had won two minor races there, but this was her first black type victory: mission accomplished!  Barry Irwin, head of the Team Valor syndicate that owns her was able to announce proudly that she was the 337th stakes winner for Team Valor. According to the Wöhler website, the trainer considers that there could be better still to come, and has entered her in a couple of group races.

The fourth listed race of the weekend was the Grosser Preis der Burckhardt Gruppe  over 1600 metres at Hanover. French-bred, French-trained but German-owned Angelinka (Pedro the Great) was slowly away, but quickly made up the lost ground and led after three furlongs to make the rest and win  by a hard-fought half a length. This was not a fillies´ race, but most of the runners were fillies out for black type, including the first four home.

The only racing this weekend in Germany is at Hoppegarten on Sunday, and the main event there is the Group Three Dreamgirl Fürstenberg-Rennen for 3yo's and up over 2400 metres. It seems to this writer that the German weight-for-age scale favours 3yo's from mid-July onwards and the sole member of that age group, Quebueno (Adlerflug) must have a decent charge on receipt of five kilos from the six older horses entered; the best of them could be 4yoA drian (Reliable Man) and 5yo Nubius (Dylan Thomas), while the sole filly, 4yo Memphis (Jukebox Jury) is also not out of it. However the weight allowance could just swing it in favour of the younger horse, who missed the Derby to wait for this easier assignment.

Next week promises to be much more interesting, with the very popular Bad Harzburg meeting starting on Thursday and the Group One Grosser Dallmayr-Preis, Germany's best middle distance race, at Munich on the Sunday of nest week.

David Conolly-Smith

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