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The English Page: Racing & Breeding in Germany 28

Preis der Winterkönigin winner Dhaba. www.galoppfoto.de


David Conolly-Smith


Ausgabe 390 vom Donnerstag, 22.10.2015

What a season this has been for Ravensberg trainer Andreas Wöhler! Not only he is quite likely to be leading trainer in Germany for the third time – not only by number of winners, as is the custom here, but probably also in terms of prize-money – with a strike rate of over 32%, but he has also had considerable success as a breeder, despite the fact that Rennstall Wöhler (a partnership between him and his wife Susanne) currently only have two mares. One of them however is Independent Miss (Polar Falcon), who has just brought off the considerable feat of having two group race winners in the space of a week. Last week we wrote here about her two-year-old Isfahan (Lord of England), winner of the prestigious Preis des Winterfavoriten, and a week later it was her three-year-old Incantator (Areion) who took the Baden- Württemberg trophy on the final day´s racing at Baden-Baden for this year. Although Independent Miss was bred by Gainsborough, she is from a well-established German family, tracing back to the French mare Yonne, imported before the war. Independent Miss's second dam is the smart Indica (Athenagoras), one of the best fillies of her crop and winner of five group races, including the Group One Aral-Pokal.

The complete race video, photos and full result here (under "Renndetails"/Incantator/No. 10: click

It was a day for doubles, as the main feature was the Preis der Winterkönigin, Germany´s top race for 2yo fillies, which went to Gestüt Park Wiedingen´s homebred Dhaba, a daughter of Areion, who sired both the day´s big winners and  is now certain to be crowned champion sire in Germany for the third time. Areion, one of the best colts by Big Shuffle, was Germany´s top sprinter around the turn of the century, when he was incidentally trained by Andreas Wöhler, and stands at Gestüt Evershorst at a fee (this year) of 8,000 euros. Areion gets plenty of runners who stay much better than he did, but even so Dhaba´s most likely target next year will be the German 1,000 Guineas, as the distance of the Preis der Diana could well be a bridge too far.

The complete race video, photos and full result here (under "Renndetails"/Dhaba/No. 2: click

Dhaba is a direct descendant of Diana Dance, her fourth dam, one of two Northern Dancer fillies bought by Helmut von Finck in the 1980s when he was starting out as a serious breeder; he bought the Park Wiedingen property in north Germany in 2000 and since then has bred and raced under that name. The Northern Dancer fillies were not cheap, but proved to be excellent purchases and were chosen by Rüdiger Alles of IVA. The other, Fabula Dancer, is the second dam of Frozen Fire (Montjeu), winner of the Irish Derby, and also of Feuerblitz (Big Shuffle), winner of the Italian equivalent.

Dhaba is the first foal of the Medicean mare Darshana, whose own dam Deva (Platini) won group races in both Germany and  Italy. Darshana's second foal, a yearling full brother to Sunday's winner, was bought back for only 19,000 euros at the BBAG mixed sale last week, a wise move considering the following day´s result. Dhaba had to survive a stewards´ inquiry before she was confirmed the winner, but was clearly the best horse on the day.

Dhaba is trained by Markus Klug, who after a rather slow start to the season has really come into form in the autumn.  He was born in a German-speaking enclave in Rumania but was brought up in Rastatt, only a stone´s throw from the racecourse at Iffezheim, which he also where he started his training career. Surprisingly this was his first group race success at what used to be his local track. For him it was also a double, as he had on Friday sent out the winner of the BBAG Ferdinand Leisten-Memorial, a sales race over seven furlongs which is in fact Germany's most valuable juvenile event of the season. Dr. Alexandra Renz'  homebred Millowitsch (Sehrezad) was the winner here, scoring easily despite veering right across the track. “He is still a big baby”, commented jockey Andreas Helfenbein afterwards of the colt who was winning for the third time in four starts.  Amazingly he appears to be the only runner so far by Sehrezad, a son of Titus Livius who won three group races at a mile. Alas, there will not be many more, as he had to be put down a couple of months ago following a paddocks accident and covered very few mares in his short stud career at Gestüt Helenenhof.

The complete race video, photos and full result here (under "Renndetails"/Millowitsch/No. 2: click

The season is nearing its end, but there is a good card at Hanover on Sunday, with the Group Three Grosser Preis des Gestüt Fährhof for fillies and mares over eleven furlongs the main feature. Gestüt Auenquelle's homebred Virginia Sun (Doyen) came back to form when winning the Deutsches St. Leger for the second time last month and looks the likely favourite here. Röttgen´s homebred Weltmacht (Mount Nelson) and Shivajia (Adlerflug) look the main dangers in an open race.

David Conolly-Smith

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