Ausgabe 383 vom Donnerstag, 03.09.2015
Baden-Baden's Grosse Woche is in full swing, with some highlights already behind us and two more strong cards to come – not to mention today´s (Friday´s) BBAG yearling sale, Germany's most important bloodstock sale by far, with plenty of owners, agents, trainers and breeders present from as far away as Hong Kong, Australia and the USA (all countries in which German-breds have starred in recent years) as well as all the usual European suspects.
The most significant race last weekend was Sunday's Group Two Goldene Peitsche (Golden Whip), Germany's top six furlongs race, an exciting affair in which Shining Emerald (Clodovil) got up on the line to defeat the odds-on French-trained favourite Son Cesio (Zafeen) by a head. Son Cesio, runner-up here last year and more recently a close fifth in the Deauville Group One over this trip, looked certain to win when taking the lead over a furlong out, but was run out of it close home by Shining Emerald, who had earlier won the Silver Whip at Munich and must now be regarded as Germany´s best horse over this distance. He is owned by Jaber Abdullah, trained by Andreas Wöhler and ridden by Eduardo Pedroza, a trio who are enjoying a spectacularly successful season. Shining Emerald, who was trained previously by Paul Deegan in Ireland, follows in the hoofprints of last week´s Prix Kergorlay winner Alex My Boy, now on course for the Prix du Cadran, and German 1,000 Guineas winner Full Rose (Aqlaam) - who runs at Baden-Baden on Thursday after these lines are written- as Group Two winners for Jaber Abdullah trained by Wöhler this season.
Son Cesio ran as if six furlongs was possibly too far for him these days and jockey Fabrice Veron said afterwards: “I hope he goes now for the Prix de l´Abbaye over five furlongs as that would suit him perfectly.” Veron had to endure a rather frustrating day as he also rode the runner-up in the day´s other top event, a valuable sales race for two-year-old fillies. This was Blue Martini (Air Chief Marshal), who ran a solid race but had no chance with the easy winner Gestüt Ittlingen's homebred Kambria (Areion), whose fourth dam is Group One winner Kandia, a close relation of Königsstuhl and a timely reminder that Zoppenbroich's celebrated “K” family is still alive and kicking. Kammbria paid almost 12-1 but the way she won strongly suggests that she will be a force to be reckoned with, although unlikely to stay much beyond a mile.
Looking forward to this weekend, and clearly the main event is Sunday's Group One Longines Grosser Preis von Baden, arguably Germany's best-known horse race. Eight runners have been declared with Jean-Claude Rouget's Prince Gibraltar (Rock of Gibraltar) the only foreign challenger; his French form reads well, notably his second place in last year´s Grand Prix de Paris and seventh place in the Arc. However he is up against some smart local hopes including the front-runner Ito (Adlerflug), who represents the same owner (Gestüt Schlenderhan), trainer (Jean-Pierre Carvalho) and jockey (Filip MInarik) as last year's winner, the distantly related Ivanhowe (Soldier Hollow). Ito was runner-up last time to Second Step (Dalakhani) in the Grosser Preis von Berlin, and that was a fine effort. He won the big race here at the June meeting and looks the one to beat now.
An interesting opponent could be Goldstream (Martino Alonso) who won this year´s Italian Derby and has since been transferred to Andreas Wöhler after being sold to Australian Bloodstock. He ran really well on his only start for Wöhler so far when fourth in the Secretariat Stakes at Arlington Park. He was supplemented for the Baden-Baden race on Wednesday, as was Palace Prince (Areion), runner-up in this year´s German Derby two months ago and since then winner of a Group Three. However the winner of the Derby, Stall Nizza's Nutan (Duke of Marmalade) does not run here, his owner as well as trainer Peter Schiergen relying instead on the closely-related filly Nightflower (Dylan Thomas). She was runner-up in the Preis der Diana (German Oaks), is getting weight all round as the only three-year-old filly in the field and could be a danger to all. The only other filly in the line-up is the four-year-old Weltmacht (Mount Nelson), who has won four of her eight starts but in all honesty does not look up to Group One standard. At the press conference on Thursday morning, Weltmacht was picked out by the pet pony Flecki, who supposedly has a good record in finding group race winners; she might yet make asses of us all, but somehow I doubt it.