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The English page: Racing & Breeding in Germany 26

Nightflower (Dylan Thomas) with her trainer Peter Schiergen and Jockey Andrasch Starke after winning the 53th Preis von Europa. ©Dr. Jens Fuchs


David Conolly-Smith


Ausgabe 387 vom Donnerstag, 01.10.2015

Cologne's Group One Preis von Europa, run last Sunday, used to be one of the most valuable races in Europe; this is no longer the case, but we saw a good race with a very deserving winner:  Stall Nizza's Nightflower (Dylan Thomas), who on her previous two starts had been runner-up in the Preis der Diana and Grosser Preis von Baden. She was certainly not winning out of turn, and jockey Andrasch Starke adopted different tactics this time; he felt that he had gone too soon at Baden-Baden and now rode a waiting race as front-runner Ito (Adlerflug) as expected cut out the pace. Ito led to the distance, where he was challenged by Jassim Al Ghazali's Dubday (Dubawi) with Frankie Dettori on board, but Nightflower was clearly going best of all and soon put the race to bed, scoring by two lengths from the fast-finishing Sirius (Dashing Blade), who just pipped Dubday for second, with Ito rewarded for his pace-setting effort with fourth place.

The complete race video, photos and full result here (under "Renndetails"/Nightflower/No. 9: click

This result made it certain that Stall Nizza will be the top owner in Germany this year, as closely-related Deutsches Derby winner Nutan (Duke of Marmalade) also runs in these colours; one of the rare setbacks for the owner this year is the fact that Nutan has had to be retired following an injury. Freiburg banker Jürgen Imm, who breeds under his own name but races under the nom de course Stall Nizza, is also almost certain to be leading breeder, a notable achievement considering that he only has about ten horses in training and also only ten broodmares, which are split between Gestüt Römerhof in Germany and Joe Hernon's Castlemartin Stud in Ireland. Both these big race winners are from the Irish department and both are by Coolmore stallions (although Duke of Marmalade has since been packed off to South Africa and has had a fantastic season as a kind of nose-thumbing), which is no surprise as Michael Andree, Römerhof's owner, is also Coolmore's German representative.

Trainer Peter Schiergen, who had supplemented Nightflower and was winning this race for the fourth time (plus twice as a jockey) thought afterwards Nightflower would probably now be put away for the winter, but apparently she has come out of the race so well that one more run this season is now being considered – possibly even the Japan Cup. At any rate, she stays in training and will be a major factor in the major mile and a half events. Sirius will also run again, probably in Milan, while Dubday will go back to Qatar, where he is almost unbeatable and where the very fast going is ideal.

Sunday was a good day for the German racing industry, as not only did the locally-trained German-breds Nightflower and Sirius see off the foreign opposition in Cologne, but German-trained runners took the two top races in Italy. Red Dubawi (Dubawi) was a 12-1 winner of the Group One Premio Vittorio di Capua for trainer Erika Mäder, who recently announced her retirement. She has won this race before and is the only German lady trainer to have trained a Group One winner. Red Dubawi, who has been with various trainers, has really blossomed since arriving at her Krefeld stable last year, and could run (if invited) in the Hong Kong Mile, in which case he would be Mäder's last ever runner. And up in the southern Alps, Kazzio (Königstiger) won the Gran Premio di Merano, a rare victory for a German-trained runner in a top international jumps race. The first three in Italy´s most valuable steeplechase were all German-bred, while in Ireland Port Douglas(by Galileo out of a German mare) won the Group Two Beresford Stakes; he is now a leading fancy for next year's Derby – his half-brother Wiener Walzer (Dynaformer) won the German equivalent in 2009.

Looking ahead to this weekend, all eyes will of course be on Longchamp; there are no German runners in the Arc this year, but several on the undercard, and we especially hope to see Wild Chief (Doyen) and Gaius Caesar (Soldier of Fortune) run well on Saturday in the Wildenstein and Chaudenay respectively, while Alex My Boy (Dalakhani) and Walzertakt (a Montjeu half-brother to the above-mentioned Port Douglas and Wiener Walzer) should both be thereabouts in the Prix du Cadran on Sunday.

There is also good racing closer to home with the Preis der Deutschen Einheit celebrating the 25th anniversary of German reunification at Hoppegarten on Saturday and the Grosser Preis der Landeshaupstadt at Düsseldorf on Sunday. In theory Stall Ullmann's Giuliani should win the former event; there are no penalties in this race and as a Group One winner he has several pounds in hand on official ratings. In Düsseldorf, Drummer (Duke of Marmalade), who is moving up in grade after winning his last three races very easily, can continue the winning run of owner Stall Nizza, trainer Peter Schiergen and jockey Andrasch Starke.

David Conolly-Smith

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