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The English page - The Schiergen express rolls on and on

The promising Alpenjäger. www.galoppfoto.de - Sandra Scherning


David Conolly-Smith


Ausgabe 745 vom Freitag, 18.11.2022

The official champion trainer in Germany is the one who wins the most races, not, as is the case in most other countries, the trainer who wins the most prize-money. In our opinion the German method is wrong; it is the trainer´s job to place his horses with such skill that they win money for their owner, and the more money, the better. Here a trainer who wins 50 low level handicaps is seen to be more successful than a trainer who wins a Group One race. The trainers themselves seem to want it this way, but we do not agree.

A couple of months ago, the race looked wide open. In terms of prize-money, the trainers who won the most valuable races, Peter Schiergen, trainer of Derby winner Sammarco, and Andreas Wöhler, trainer of Preis der Diana winner Toskana Belle, were also near the top of the table by the number of winners. However the situation has changed, as Peter Schiergen seems to have gone into overdrive, and is now clear leader by both yardsticks. At the time of writing he has won 60 races in Germany and prize-money of  almost 1.6 million euros; Markus Klug is second on both counts, with 46 winners and 1.2. million in prize-money. No other trainer has won over a million this year, although Marcel Weiss would be close if we included foreign earnings, thanks to Torquator Tasso. There are only six more days or racing in Germany this year, and no races of great value, so nothing is likely to change. Schiergen has also by far the best strike rate, 28%, and he and Wöhler (22%) are the only leading trainers with a strike rate above 20%

Schiergen has shot into a clear lead in recent weeks, partly as a result of the amazing winning run of his 2yo´s. As is well knoiwn, the season for juvenile races starts very slowly in Germany. The very first race is at the end of May, the second at the end of June. They become more frequent from July onwards, and Scbiergen saddled  his first 2yo winner of 2022 on July 31st. He  had three 2yo winners in August, one in September, four more in October and now they are really flying, with five so far in November. In fact he has had six of the last seven 2yo winners in Germany. Anf of course he is also doing well with his older horses, with Tünnes now rated the best horse in training in Germany after his impressive voictory of the Grosser Preis von Bayern.

Most important of his successes last weekend was that of Stall Nizza´s homebred Alpenjäger (Nutan) in the Group Three Herzog von Ratibor-Rennen at Krrfeld. This was the same race won last year by Tünnes., so he has a lot to live up to, but like Tünnes last year he has been made ante-post favourite for the 2023 German Derby, which finally closed this week with 97 entries. Tünnes had to miss this year´s Derby but has more than made up for lost time andf is currenzly on a flight to Tokyo to run in next week´s Japan Cup. Whether Alpenjäger reaches those heights remains to be seen, but he certainly looked good last week when scoring by seven lengths in a good time. This was a good result for Ursula and Jürgen Imm, who race under the name Stall Nizza; Alpenjäger is the first black type winner for Nutan (Duke of Marmalade), who won the German Derby for them in 2015, trained by Peter Schiergen. Nutan, an own brother to Nymphea, another Group One winner for Stall Nizza trained by Schiergen and ridden by his son Dennis to win the Grosser Preis von Berlin, now stands at Vauterhill Stud in Devon covering mainly N.H. mares. Alpenjäger´s fifth dam Alte Zeit (Surumu) was a top class performer who won both German fillies´ classics in 1988 and also finished runner-up in the German Derby. Last year´s German Derby runner-up Alter Adler is another member of this immediate family.

Alpenjäger has been given a provisional rating of GAG 94 (= international 108), making him Germany´s joint-best juvenile at present. The Deutsches Derby is obviously his main target for next year, and the way that Schiergen´s 2yo´s are performing, it is quite conceinvablke that his main rivals will also come from this stable.

This Sunday is a religious holiday in Germany, with no racing. However there is racing on Saturday in Munich, where the last black type of the German season will be run. The Isfahan Grosser Münchner Herbst-Preis is a listed race for 3yo´s and up over 2200 metres. 12 horses have been declared, including one each from France, Hungary and Holland. It looks wide open; Andreas Wöhler has the likely favourites, but in view of the terrific stable form, we shall take a chance with Peter Schiergen´s Ammerland homebred Barina (Gleneagles)

David Conolly-Smith

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