This week is an exceptionally hard week and when I agreed to take over the writing of this page as substitute for David Conolly-Smith, I was not expecting that I would so suddenly have to write about our family friend and his life.
I knew David as long as I could walk on the racecourse in Munich-Riem as Dad and himself were good friends through the horses and the language. David to me was a big friendly giant who I never seen loose his composure. His last words to me were “You can do this!” I will always remember these words. Born in Nottingham England 1940. David studied Journalism in Cambridge University. From his student years David had a passion for our sport and the betting side. In his 30´s he came to Munich where he opened the Anglia-English book shop close to the Munich University, but it was not long before he found his way to the Munich Racecourse and the German Racing. Bachelor of Art David Conolly-Smith found his way to writing for the Sporting Life, The Racing Post, The Irish Field, and magazines like Pacemaker, with columns bringing the German Racing scene into the British papers. But it was in the 70´s when the International Racing Bureau was set up in Newmarket, an organization to help cooperation’s in the racing Industry Internationally, that David became the "Go to" man for the British trainers and jockeys when active in Germany. He built up an impressive contact list whether it be Piggott, Cauthen or Dettori but also by the trainer´s and Godolphin or Sir Mark Prescott would contract David when their horses ran here. He became heavily involved with the IRB with German horses to England or visa-versa.
He was the influencer for Sibylle Vogts successful trip to ride in the Saudi Jockey Cup in Riyadh. David definitely brought the English /German Racing connection much closer together. David died after a short illness last week in a Munich hospital at the age of 83. He will be sadly missed in our sport and our sincere condolences go to his partner Hildi Breen and his Family.
Rest in Peace.
But racing still goes on.
Last weekend, Peter Schiergen sent his stable star Tünnes (Guiliani) to Saint-Cloud to contest the Group I Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud over 2400 meters. The Rene Piechulek ridden Tünnes faced only four rivals, but they included the Juddmonte owned Westover (Frankel) from Ralph Beckett´s English stable who had finished in front of him last time out in the Coronation Cup Group I in Epsom, and Zagrey (Zarak) making his return after a winter in Dubai where he had finished one place behind Westover when 3rd in the Sheema Classic on World Cup Night. And even with a tactic change, this time Tünnes taking on the pacemaker Malibu Drive (Frankel) up front and dictating the pace, it proved again a mission impossible for the German raider as he dropped away tamely in the straight to finished 14 lengths behind a strong galloping Westover and Zagrey who should improve for the run. There was also a lcontroversy concerning the jockey bookings after the race as Tünnes has since left Peter Schiergens yard and will be trained by Markus Klug in the future.
On the Sunday the limelight fell on one of the smaller German tracks, Magdeburg in the East. It hosted the Group III, Großer Preis der Neumann Unternehmensgruppe over 2050 meters for 3-year-olds and upwards. Mansour (Tai Chi) was sent off favorite in the 9-runner field. On a very hot day by 38 degrees and the ground riding good to fast, the favorite made the running till entering the straight but was quickly over run by Aemilianus (Holy Roman Emperor) and Quebueno (Adleflug), but Bukhara (Isfahan) with Clement Lecoeuvre was finishing fastest of all on the outside, to collar Aemilianus in the last strides and secure the win for the Andreas Wöhler stable and Darius Racing with the other Wöhler runner Quebueno holding third place.