The English page: Racing & Breeding in Germany 8
One horse dominated the German racing news this week, and that was Karpino (Cape Cross), bred by Gestüt Fährhof and racing in the colours of Pearl Bloodstock, who ran out a most convincing winner of the Mehl-Mülhens-Rennen (German 2,000 Guineas) at Cologne on Monday. Trained by Andreas Wöhler, who seems to have a lock on the top German three-year-olds this year, Karpino started as 6-4 favourite for the first German classic and never gave his supporters a moment of anxiety. Ridden with great confidence by young Oisin Murphy, he took over from the pacemaker Rock Academy (Aerion) with fully two furlongs to run and quickly had the race in safe keeping.
The winning distance at the line was four and a half lengths, but he was probably value for much more, and the time was an excellent 1 minute 34.01 seconds, the fastest this century, even though the pace did not seem especially fast. British raider Fanciful Angel (Dark Angel), trained by Marco Botti and ridden by Frankie Dettori, kept on for second, just holding off Molly le Clou (Doyen) by a head, while the supplemented Agent Provocateur (Excellent Art) weakened into fourth after looking a possible danger at the distance, with Wöhler´s second runner Making Trouble (Paco Boy) fifth. The disappointment of the race was the Irish hope Cappella Sansevero (Showcasing), second favourite at 5-2, who was hopelessly trapped on the inside early in the straight and never got into contention.
“The exciting thing about Karpino,” enthused Wöhler afterwards, “is that he is bred to get a mile and a half, but has the class and speed to win top races over a mile.” Wöhler expects him to be even better over the longer trip and that is where he will be racing from now on. There was a brief flurry of excitement when it seemed that connections were considering supplementing him for next week's Derby at Epsom, but with only twelve days between the two races, that was probably not a serious consideration, and Karpino will next be seen in the IDEE 146. Deutsches Derby at Hamburg on July 5th. Should he run well there, the King George and Arc are certainly races that will be on his radar. Wöhler won the former race with Novellist (Monsun) two years ago and knows what is required; the fact that these races are now being mentioned shows the high regard in which Karpino is held.
He won his only start last season easily enough in Fährhof colours, but was bought by Sheikh Fahad´s Pearl Bloodstock before he began his 2015 campaign with an easy win in the Dr. Busch-Memorial, usually the best trial for the Mehl-Mülhens-Rennen. Although bred by Fährhof, Karpino does not have a typical German pedigree, being by Cape Cross out of the Sadler's Wells mare Kahara; the second dam Kathinga won the Saint Simon Stakes over twelve furlongs and was placed in the Irish St. Leger, while Kahara herself is an own-sister to St. Leger winner Milan. She was bred by Luca Cumani's Fittocks Stud, but this is a well-established Aga Khan family, whose most prominent member is Derby winner Kahyasi, so there should be no problem with stamina. The German handicapper has put Karpino on 117, a very high rating for a German three-year-old in May, but the style of his Cologne success was so compelling that it seems fully justified; he seems well up to Group One class.
The other runners to take out of the race are third-placed Molly le Clou, a Gestüt Auenquelle homebred, who finished very well and should probably be well suited by a slightly longer trip; Royal Ascot´s Tercentenary Stakes could be a possible target, a race trainer Jens Hirschberger won in 2012 with Energizer (Monsun), and Agent Provocateur, who by contrast would be better at slightly shorter, while Cappella Sansevero´s run can surely be ignored.
The other significant race on Monday was Hanover's listed Derby Trial over eleven furlongs, a race that has often been a good guide to the Hamburg classic. Schlenderhan's Isidor (Adlerflug –himself a winner of this race in 2007 before his Derby success) was favourite here but ran below form, as Shimrano (Monsun) made all the running and won in good style. Shimrano won his only start last year and certainly ran well enough when runner-up to Fährhof's Quasillo, a good winner since of the Bavarian Classic, at Munich in April when conceding three kilos. Plenty of water will flow down the Elbe in the weeks to come, but on current form, only three German-trained horses can be seriously considered for the Deutsches Derby – Karpino, Quasillo and Shimrano.
Shimrano was bred by Gestüt Brümmerhof and is still trained locally by Irishman Paul Harley, but now runs in the colours of Australia Racing Stables. They were represented at Hanover by agent David Baker, who revealed that they have also bought the good four-year-old Guardini (Dalakhani) from Stall Ullmann. The recent winner of the Group Two Gerling-Preis, Guardini is to stay in Germany with the Ullmann/ Schlenderhan trainer Jean-Pierre Carvalho and is expected to run for his new owners on Sunday in the Grand Prix de Chantilly. Another good Schlenderhan runner recently sold out of the Carvalho stable is the Galileo five-year-oldIniciar, who is to go hurdling.
Big race this weekend is the German 1,000 Guineas at Düsseldorf, which looks wide open; indeed German bookmakers were going 11-2 the field on Thursday. Andreas Wöhler – who will not be present, as he will be saddling Jaber Abdullah's Full of Beauty (Motivator) in the Oaks d'Italia in Milan- runs two fillies, Full Rose (Aqlaam), also owned by Jaber Abdullah, and La Saldana (Fastnet Rock), a Fährhof homebred. The opposition includes Terror (Kodiac), trained by David Simcock, and Irish hope Letters of Note (Azamour), trained by Michael O'Callaghan and representing last Monday's winning team of Pearl Bloodstock and jockey Oisin Murphy.