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The English page - Soldier Hollow setting the pace

Adrian, winning the Derby Trial at Düsseldorf. www.galoppfoto.de - Stephanie Gruttmann


David Conolly-Smith


Ausgabe 622 vom Freitag, 12.06.2020

It was a relatively low key weekend in Germany this time, with no group races. However we had listed races at Düsseldorf on Saturday and Hanover on Sunday, with the Derby Trial at the former track the most interesting event as far as the future is concerned. Normally this is not one of the strongest trials, but it was won last year by Laccario (Scalo), who went on to win the Union-Rennen and then the German Derby, so the winner Adrian (Reliable Man) has a lot to live up to. Bred by Röttgen, Adrian was a 52,000 euros BBAG yearling and now runs in the colours of Gestüt Auenquelle, who must have been very happy with the result as Adrian made all to win very comfortably from the filly Deia (Soldier Hollow), who made up a lot of ground without seriously threatening the winner and is on course for the Preis der Diana. Soldier Hollow, of whom more later, is the resident stallion at Auenquelle and is enjoying a great run. Deia herself, running only for the second time, is an own sister to Group One winner Dschingis Secret and other smart performers.

Adrian is a most consistent performer and has so far finished in the first three on all his five starts, all in good company. He is trained by Henk  Grewe, who has an extremely strong hand for the Derby, with Wonderful Moon (Sea The .Moon) currently clear favourite in ante-post betting, with Adrian and Dicaprio (Adlerflug) next best – both of whom are due to run in the next few days, Grewe confirmed that Adrian will probably now go straight to the Derby: “He does not have to make the running, but will if necessary,” he said, “but it would be ideal if he got a nice lead.”

Soldier Hollow in fact sired three winners at Düsseldorf on Saturday and followed up with four more at Hanover, including both listed races and also the BBAG sales race with Mrs. Applebee, also a BBAG yearling now owned by Auenquelle. She is trained by Roland Dzubasz in Hoppegarten and was ridden by Bauyrzhan Murzabayev, Germany´s  champion jockey last year and setting a strong pace this year as well. He also partnered both listed winners, both trained by his boss Andreas Wöhler. First up was the five-year-old mare Go Rose, who showed a good turn of foot to score over seven furlongs. She was bred by Auenquelle and now runs in the colours of Barry Irwin´s Team Valor, for whom she finished third in the 2018 German 1,000 Guineas. She was then sent to the USA, where she was twice unplaced last year, but now reunited with Wöhler she seems to be coming back to her best. The other listed race went to Sanora, also a five-year-old mare, who just got the better of Akribie (Reliable Man) over 9½ furlongs. Both Go Rose and Sanora are entered in the Group Three mile race for filles and mares at the Hamburg Derby meeting next month, and Wöhler indicated that they would probably both run there.

Soldier Hollow (In The Wings) is clearly the outstanding stallion currently standing in Germany. He has been champion sire three times and, although it is early days yet, seems well on the way to a fourth championship in 2020. He has so far sired 19 winners of 24 races in Germany in 2020, most impressive figures when one considers the small number of races run. No other stallion has so far reached double figures. He was bred by Car Colston Hall Stud near Nottingham and bought as a yearling for Helmut von Finck (Gestüt Park Wiedingen), who still owns him. Trained throughout by Peter Schiergen, he was an outstanding racehorse (German Horse of the Year in 2004), winning a stakes race every season from the ages of two to seven, despite a serious illness at three. In all he won four Group Ones, although his arguably greatest success came when as a 6yo he defeated subsequent world champion Manduro in the Group Two Prix Dollar. Starting out as a stallion at Röttgen, he moved to Auenquelle in 2012.

Soldier Hollow has also had plenty of winners internationally, and the latest came this week when his 3yo daughter Wangari, bred by Park Wiedingen and now trained by Elizabeth Fabre, won the listed Prix Finlande on Wednesday at Chantilly. She looks a smart prospect and was a 35,000 euros BBAG (October) yearling. She is an-own sister to Preis der Winterkönigin winner Whispering Angel and also closely related to Group One performer Wai Key Star, also by Soldier Hollow. Wangari is one of a number of German-bred 3yo´s that have shone recently, most of them BBAG graduates. Miss Yoda (Sea The Stars), bred by Etzean, was one of the top lots in 2018, costing Georg von Opel´s Westerberg stable 280,000 euros, but she looks to be a classic prospect  for trainer John Gosden and won last week´s listed Lingfield Oaks Trial. Run Wild, bred by Ralf Kredel, is another filly with Gosden and was a very easy winner of the listed Pretty Polly Stakes at Newmarket last week. She thus became the first black type winner for her sire Amaron (Shamardal), who stands at Etzean and  was leading first crop sire in Germany last year; Run Wild cost 160,000 euros as a BBAG yearling. Somewhat cheaper at 90,000 euros was the Ebbesloh-bred World Peace (Camelot), now trained by Francis Graffard, who was third in this week´s Group Three Prix Cleopatre at Lyon. Graffard also trains the Schlenderhan homebred In Swoop (Adlerflug), third in this week´s Group Two Prix Greffulhe; this own brother to Group One winner Ito is highly regarded by the trainer, who reported that “he is definitely a horse with a big future.”

This weekend we have racing at Dresden on Saturday, including a Group Three over seven furlongs, at Cologne on Sunday, including the Group Two Union-Rennen and at Munich on Monday with a listed race. The Dresden event is more or less a rerun of Baden-Baden´s Silberne Peitsche over a furlong shorter. Namos (Medicean), the narrow winner on that occasion, is now reopposed by Schäng (Contat) fourth, Zerostress (Areion), sicth, Tosen Shauna  (Alhabayeb) seventh, McQueen (Silver Frost) ninth and Power Jack (Sepoy) last of eleven, while seven of these runners had run earller in the same listed race at Hanover. Namos is now two kilos worse off with most of them and therefore not certain to confirm the form.

The main events at Cologne and Munich are both Derby trials, with the Union-Rennen clearly the more significant. This race, first run in 1834, has been historically the most reliable trial for the German Derby, and in both 2018 and 2019 the first two at Cologne later finished in the same positions at Hamburg. Henk Grewe saddles three of the seven runners, with Wonderful Mon (Sea The Moon) certain to start a very hot favourite after his easy win in the Cologne Classic last month. The extra furlong should prove to be no problem and if he wins here he will go off at a very short price in the Derby. Grocer Jack (Oasis Dream) was runner-up to him at Cologne and looks the main danger. Henk Grewe also has good prospects of taking the Munich race with Dicaprio (Adlerflug), who made a very positive impression when winning on his debut at Cologne; he is a half-brother to Django Freeman (Campanologist), who was last year runner-up in both the Union-Rennen and German Derby, and is now in Australia. The picture for the German Derby should be much clearer after these two races are run, but it is more than possible that Wonderful Moon and Dicaprio will strengthen their positions at the head of the market.

David Conolly-Smith

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