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English Page: Tünnes – a new German star

Group one winner Tünnes. www.galoppfoto.de - Sabine Brose


David Conolly-Smith


Ausgabe 744 vom Freitag, 11.11.2022

Small fields have been a regular feature of top level racing in Europe this year. Quite a few of the best races have had five runner or less, e.g. the King George at Ascot and the Grosser Preis von Baden. This is not only bad news for the racecourse, but also makes the likelihood of a false-run race much more likely, as we saw at Baden-Baden. This can be avoided by the use of a pacemaker Aidan O´Brien is however one of the few trainers to adopt this tactic on a regular basis – or of course one can force the pace oneself. This does not always work out, but certainly worked well last Sunday at Munich, where there were only five runners in the Grosser Allianz-Preis von Bayern, the final Group One race of the 2022 season, and the hot favourite Tünnes (Guiliani) made all the running. Coming into the straight the 3yo filly Well Disposed (Dubawi) and the Godolphin raider Siskany, a 4yo gelding by the same sire, were still in touch, and indeed Well Disposed tried to launch a challenge, but Tünnes saw them both off with the greatest of ease and finally scored by ten lengths. The going was heavy, in fact much more testing than had been expected, and the time of the race was very slow, - the slowest this century for this race - but there is no denying that Tünnes was a most impressive winner.

Tünnes was bred by Dutch retired master butcher Paul H. Vandeberg, who owns just the one mare Tijuana (Toylsome), but that one is also the dam of Torquator Tasso (Adlerflug), the best German horse of recent years and winner of the Prix de l´Arc de Triomphr last year. Tünnes´ owner Holger Renz bought him at the 2020 BBAG Yearling Sale for 38,000 euros. apparently by mistake, but in retrospect he is probably very happy to have done so. Tünnes has now won in prize-money almost five times that amount and is also in line for another massive payday later this month.

Tünnes has now won five of his six career starts, his only defeat coming on his debut last September. He won the prestigious Herzog-von-Ratibor-Rennen, frequently the best juvenile race of the season in Germany. He was then ante-post favourite for this year´s German Derby during most of the winter, only to miss that race after a setback, which kept him off the track until early September, when he won a decent race at Baden-Baden very easily an d followed up with an 8 lengths success in the German St. Leger. In the meantime trainer Peter Schiergen had won the German Derby with Sammarco (Camelot), and until last week that one could have been regarded as the best of his crop in Germany. It is now clear that Schiergen has two topnotch 3yo´s in his Cologne stable, and there were plenty of racegoers at Munich who wanted to know which one the trainer regarded as the better. Obviously the trainer was rather reluctant to give a clear answer.

Stable jockey Bauyrzhan Murzabayev stated diplomatically that “they are both very, very good horses, but Tünnes is possibly the better stayer.” Meanwhile the official German handicapper has come up with his answer. He has raised Tünnes to a rating of GAG 100 (=international 120), i.e. five pounds above his stable companion. With big brother Torquastor Tasso being now retired, that rating makes Tünnes the highest-rated horse in training in Germany at present. They both stay in training and the trainer may have problems in keeping them apart.

However Tünnes has one more chance this year to add to Holger Renz´ winnings. Representatives of the Japan Racing Association were in Munich to see Tünnes run, and they were suitably impressed. He has been invited to run in the Japan Cup and leaves Cologne for Tokyo in a few days. The European challenge looks stronger than in most recent years, even without Alpinista, and we definitely consider that Tünnes is worth his place in the line-up. The going will of course be totally different, but this does not bother Schiergen, who says that Tünnes can go on any ground. He would be more worried by a very slow pace, but that looks unlikely. It is almost 30 years since Lando became the only German-trained winner of the Japan Cup, but we certainly think that he is capable of running a big race.

The Group Three Herzog-von-Ratibor-Rennen over 1700 metres for 2yo s was the race that first brought Tünnes to the fore, and this year´s edition will be run this Sunday at Krefeld. This looked like being another very small field, but there were no fewer than five supplementary entries and it now seems that seven will line up. All have similar form and it looks too close to call. Perhaps Peter Schiergen, who continues in great form, will have another boig frace winner; he has two runners Winning Spirit (Soldier Hollow) and Alpenjäger (Nutan) with slight preference for the first-named.

David Conolly-Smith

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