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The English page - Tünnes favourite for 2022 German Derby

Tünnes (r.) just wins against Ariolo. www.galoppfoto.de


David Conolly-Smith


Ausgabe 695 vom Freitag, 19.11.2021

Last Sunday's Group Three Grosser Preis der Wohnstätte Krefeld – Herzog von Ratibor-Rennen over 1700 metres for 2yo's was the last European group race of the season and also of course the last German juvenile race of importance. Germany has four group races for this age group and the Ratibor-Rennen (as it is usually known) although it comes very late in the season has often enough been won by juveniles that went on to greater success the following season. In 2011 locally-trained Pastorius (Soldier Hollow) won this and went on to take next year's Deutsches Derby, and the latest winner Tünnes (Guiliani) is now favourite for that same event in 2022.

Tünnes, trained by Peter Schiergen in Cologne, started clear favourite at 6-4 after his easy maiden victory on his previous start (form boosted since) after finishing runner-up on his debut in September (also decent form). He is obviously very useful and his German GAG rating has gone up to 92 ½ (= international 105), although that is still five pounds below that of Sea Bay (New Bay), impressive winner of the Preis des Winterfavoriten a month ago, but currently on the easy list. To a certain extent his prominent position in the ante-post market is due to his pedigree, as he is a half-brother to Arc winner Torquator Tasso (Adlerflug). Like that one, he was bred by Dutchman Paul H. Vandeberg but reared in Germany and sold as a yearling at BBAG. Ironically, both these big race winners were originally named  Tijuan Hilleshage (after the dam Tijuana (Toylsome) and the breeder's home village) but both new owners quickly changed the name to something they felt Onlwas more appropriate. Tünnes' owner Holger Renz paid 38,000 euros and later claimed that he had bought the horse by mistake, but he certainly must be satisfied now.

Only sixc 2yo´s lined up and Gestüt Röttgen's homebred Ariolo (Reliable Man) set out to make the running. He had earlier been fourth to Sea Bay in the Preis des Winterfavoriten and eas actually the highest-rated runner coming into the race, but was the outsider of the field here. Tünnes was always close up and put in a strong and persistent challenge over the final two furlongs, getting up in the very last stride to score by a short head, with Dapango (Soldier Hollow) three lengths back in third and Lavello (Zarak) another four lengths away in fourth.

Despite the small field it was undeniably a good race and run in a good time considering the soft going. Both Tünnes and Ariolo are entered in next year's German Derby so we could well see a rematch in 2022. Tünnes, a first group race winner for his sire Guiliani (Tertullian) is certainly bred to stay the Derby trip and trainer Schiergen made it clear after the race that his winner would be aimed at that race. “He is not really a two-year-old and next year will be running over longer distances. I am sure that we shall have a lot of fun with him.” Tünnes is certainly more precocious than his half-brother Torquator Tasso, who did not run at all as a 2yo.

Yesterday (Wednesday) we had the final black type race of the year, the listed USD Premium Preis “Unser Schönes Dresden” over 2000 metres in the Saxon capital.Mansour (Tai Chi) made all the running and in the end kept on well to score by more than two lengths from the favourite Whizzair (Adlerflug), a popular success for a small owner-breeder Angelika Muntwyler and her trainer Toni Potters.

From now until next spring there will only be lower level racing in Germany, including several meetings at the one remaining all-weather track Dortmund. We shall probably have to wait until Easter at least until we see better class racing again in Germany, but of course there will be German runners at some of the top international meetings, and tomorrow (Friday) Penja (Camelot), a 3yo filly trained by Andreas Suborics, runs in the Bahrain International Trophy. Previously trained by Jean-Claude Rouget, she cost her new owner 1.2 million euros at the Arqana Arc sale and can make a contribution to that price tomorrow on suitably fast going (but facing some strong international opposition).

There is a low level card at Munich on Sunday, the only racing in Germany this weekend, and no racing at all next week, but we still hope to write an English page and we intend to look at the German stallion scene in 2022.

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