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The English page: Racing & Breeding in Germany 30

Convincing winner in Germany's last Group One: Ito (Adlerflug) and Filip Minarik.


David Conolly-Smith


Ausgabe 392 vom Donnerstag, 05.11.2015

Ito (Adlerflug) was a most convincing winner of last Sunday's Pastorius- Grosser Preis von Bayern, to give his owner-breeder Gestüt Schlenderhan, his trainer Jean-Pierre Carvalho and jockey Filip Minarik their second successive success in Germany's last Group One race of the year. Carvalho, who was based in Munich for most of his riding career, has now won the last three top level races run at the track; his July winner here Guiliani (Tertullian) is due to run on Sunday in the Premio Roma.

It was a great result for Schlenderhan as both Ito's sire Adlerflug, who took the Deutsches Derby in 2007, and dam Iota (Tiger Hill), who won the Preis der Diana in 2005, ran in their colours. Ito is also distantly related to last year's winner Ivanhowe (Soldier Hollow), who followed up by running sixth in the Japan Cup (and collecting more prize-money than for the Munich victory!) and was then sold to Australia, where he ran third last week in the Caulfield Cup. They both trace back to the French mare Yonne, who was imported into Germany 80 years ago and founded a hugely successful family for Schlenderhan.

Ito, a habitual front-runner, led after a furlong and was soon settled into a nice rhythm by Filip Minarik, who is having a fantastic run and timed things beautifully here. He was about two lengths clear coming into the straight and then quickened up nicely to go more than four lengths clear with two furlongs to go. The only one who could even attempt to go with him was the French-trained odds-on favourite Prince Gibraltar (Rock of Gibraltar) but he could make no impression in the final stages and Ito kept on well for a four lengths success, with the rest, led by German Derby third Fair Mountain (Tiger Hill) a long way back.

Prince Gibraltar was only beaten by about the same distance when seventh to Golden Horn in the Arc, and also when seventh to Treve the previous year, but it would be idle to pretend that Ito could have gone close to winning in Paris. However it should not be forgotten that he was favourite to beat Prince Gibraltar before his late withdrawal from the Grosser Preis von Baden, and even though the Munich race was his first ever Group One victory he is clearly very smart. The German handicapper has given him a rating of 122 and he has been invited to run in both the Japan Cup and Hong Kong Vase. At the time of writing connections have not yet decided which race to go for (if at all).

The turf season is drawing rapidly to a close and this Sunday we have the two final group races of 2015, both at Krefeld. The Herzog von Ratibor-Rennen over 1700 metres is always one of the best two-year-old races of the year and it looks very competitive. In 2011 it was won by Pastorius (Soldier Hollow), trained locally by Mario Hofer and running in the colours of Stall Antanando (Prince Franz von Auersperg). Now the same team hopes to follow up with his own brotherParthenius, who won nicely at Munich last time. However he will need to step up on that form as the opposition looks strong. Ittlingen's homebred Sound Check (Lando), a full brother to their top class Scalo, was the beaten favourite in the Preis des Winterfavoriten, but could possibly make amends here, although he has to concede weight all round. Markus Klug, whose juveniles have been running well, saddles two Röttgen-breds Deukalion (Kallisto) and El Loco (Lope de Vega), both of whom are expected to run well, while the successful Ullmann/ Carvalho/ Minarik team are represented by Gauguin (Tertullian), an own brother to Sunday's Premio Roma hope Guiliani.

The other group race is the Grosser Preis von RONDO FOOD, better known as the Niederrhein-Pokal, for three-year-olds and up over an extended ten furlongs. Vif Monsieur (Sascha SmrczekKoen Clijmans) won this last year and the Doyen five-year-old has an obvious chance of doubling up, despite two recent below par efforts. Mario Hofer saddles Nordico (Medicean), while Carvalho has an interesting contestant in the very well-bred Amazona (Dubawi) and Cologne trainer Waldemar Hickst is planning on running three – Nicolosio (Peintre Celebre), Maningrey (Soldier Hollow) and the three-year-old filly Bravo Girl (Lord of England).

This looks wide open, but Lucky Lion (High Chaparral) beat the subsequent Champion Stakes winner Noble Mission last year in Munich and if he is back to that form must take all the beating here.

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