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The English Page: Spectacular juvenile winner

Quantanamera, winning the Preis der Winterkönigin. www.galoppfoto.de - Sarah Bauer


David Conolly-Smith


Ausgabe 741 vom Freitag, 21.10.2022

As expected, the 2yo races were the most interesting events at Baden-Baden´s Sales & Racing Festival last week. The meeting itself must be regarded as a major success, and they were lucky with the weather, which although miserable on Friday (the first day) was excellent on the Sunday, resulting in a good crowd and strong betting turnover. The new management team of Peter Gaul and Stephan Buchner must be congratulated on a great job. There is one more day´s racing to come at the Iffezheim track, on Saturday December 3rd, which will be combined with a Christmas market; this is a complete innovation and it must be hoped that it is also a success, although much obviously will depend on the weather.

The best race at the meeting also had the best winner. The Group Three BBAG Preis der Winterkönigin, generally recognized as Germany´s top race for 2yo fillies, was won in spectacular style by Quantanamera (Lope de Vega), who had won her only previous start in impressive fashion and started clear favourite here at 6-4. This result must have pleased the sponsors, as she was one of the top lots at their Yearling Sale last year, when bought by trainer Andreas Suborics for 200,000 euros for his owner Jürgen Satori. That was a very high price by local standards, but she now looks very well bought. She was bred by Gestüt Fährhof and is well-bred, being by a top international sire and with a catalogue page full of black type from various countries.

She is a big and imposing filly, and was the pick of the paddock here. She was an early February foal, which possibly gave her a small advantage, but basically she was in a different league to these opponents. Only three of them were previous winners and most of them had only run once or twice, so there is possibly a doubt about the strength in depth of the race, but she could do no more than win with the greatest of ease, making almost all of the running and going well clear in the straight. She was eased in the final furlong and would have won by more than the official winning distance of 8 !/2 lengths had she been ridden out to the line. She is obviously a highly interesting prospect for next season, when the Prix de Diane is expected to be her first big target.

There was a close finish for the places, with Empore (Oasis Dream), Tamarinde (Amaron) and Elle (Areion) finishing in that order and only separated by inches. All three, who were in any case the three main opponents on previous form, should be up to black type level next year. They ended well clear of the remaining six runners. The handicapper was suitably impressed, giving Quantamanera a GAG rating of 95 (=110 international), considerably higher than the historic average for this race and the highest current rating for a German 2yo. This also a kilo more than the rating given to the top colt, Fantastic Moon (Sea The Moon), winner of the Preis des Winterfavoriten a week earlier; should they ever meet, he would of course have to concere weight to the filly.

The other group race at Baden-Baden last week, the Länd Trophy over 2400 metres, was also won by a filly, Gestüt Röttgen´s homebred 3yo Well Disposed (Dubawi),  who scored by 3 ½ lengths. Well Disposed is arguably the best bred filly in training in Germany, being a Dubawi half-sister to two winners of the German Derby. Trained by Markus Klug, who also saddled the runner-up Lavello (Zarak), she is to stay in training next year and the aim will be to win more black type, but she is already a potential jewel as a broodmare. Lavello ran a good race and will stand as a stallion., covering many N.H. mares, in France next season.

The most valuable 2yo race of the meeting, and indeed of the whole year, was Friday´s Ferdinand Leisten-Memorial, a BBAG sales race over 1400 metres. We have pointed out several times already that these sales races, although worth a lot of money, are in terms of class inferior to usually less valuable group races, and this was the case again here. That will not worry trainer Marcel Weiss and owner Gestüt Auenquelle, as their colt Vintage Moon (Sea The Moon) collected 100,000 euros for a comfortable victory here. Auenquelle are also the breeders  Vintage Moon, who went through the BBAG sales ring last year, thus qualifying for the race, and was bought in for 75,000 euros. He is now rated GAG 81, i.e. fully two stone behind Quantanamera, and he thus continued a remarkable run of success for his sire, the German Derby winner of 2014, who stands at Kirsten Rausing´s Lanwades Stud  in Newmarket. Sea The Moon was also sire of the Preis des Winterfavoriten winner Fantastic Moon a few days earlier, and the following day had a Group One winner in Australia, when Durston, bred by Ms Rausing herself, won the prestigious Caulfield Cup. He has also had several winners, at a lower level, in the U.K., France and Ireland this month.

This weekend´s main meeting is at Hanover on Sunday, where the card includes the Group Three  Waldpfad Trophy over 2200 metres for fillies and mares and three more listed races for filies. There is quite a strong Irish challenge here. Emmet Mullins is sending over Maxine (Maxios), German-bred but now trained in Ireland, for the Waldpfad Trophy, while Dermot Weld saddles his own Giladah (Muhaarar) in the Alson-Trophy over 1750 metres and Emilie Gray (Dubawi) in the Grosser Preis des Arc-Siegers over 1400 metres. David Egan partners all three Irish-trained runners and it will be disappointing if he goes home without a winner.

David Conolly-Smith

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