The English page - Two cosmopolitan winners
Except for the week-long meetings at Baden-Baden and Hamburg, there is virtually no midweek racing now in Germany, but this Wednesday – a public holiday celebrating German reunification – we saw good racing at Cologne and Hoppegarten, following on from Sunday´s meeting at Düsseldorf. Both Düsseldorf and Hoppegarten hosted interesting Group Three races and the two easy winners, Peace in Motion (Hat Trick) and Va Bank (Archipenko) respectively, have plenty in common, including a very cosmopolitan background.
Peace in Motion was bred by Dr. Christoph Berglar and ran in his colours. He has been one of the top German breeders for years, with champions Novellist and Protectionist (both by Monsun) to his credit; although he lives in Cologne, he also owns Stonereath Farm in Kentucky and Peace in Motion, a four-year-old filly out of the dual group race winner Peace Royale (Sholokhov), herself out of listed-placed Peace Time (Surumu), was bred there. Her sire Hat Trick, by the outstanding Sunday Silence, was himself a champion miler in his native Japan and also winner of the HK Mile, and is best known in Europe for his son Dabirsim, the German-owned European champion two-year-old of 2011. Hat Trick also spent several years in Kentucky, which included a shuttling stint in Australia, but is now based in Brazil.
Peace in Motion has been trained throughout by Waldemar Hickst, who was born in Kyrgystan in the ex-Soviet Union, but has lived in Cologne for more than 20 years. She was always highly regarded, but after running second in last year´s German 1,000 Guineas, she met with a setback and missed the rest of the 2017 season. She won two listed races in Germany this year, before she put up her best performance on Sunday in Düsseldorf`s Grosser Preis der Landeshauptstadt, showing tremendous speed under French jockey Antony Crastus to score by two lengths from English raider Crazy Horse (Sleeping Indian) with Degas (Exceed and Excel) third. The race was run at a very fast pace and these three were in fact the three last as the field turned into the straight. Front-runner Millowitsch (Sehrezad) was responsible for the pace and kept on for fourth over a trip which probably stretched him. Millowitsch might possibly have one more race before he retires as a stallion to Röttgen, while connections are looking for a race for Peace in Motion, who also is entered for the Arqana December Sales. The handicapper has put Peace in Motion up to 106+, but the way she won on Sunday suggests that she could be better than that.
Wednesday´s Hoppegarten winner Va Bank also put up his best performance to win the Preis der Deutschen Einheit by five long lengths from odds-on favourite Iquitos (Adlerflug), who came from a very long way back; in mitigation it must be said that Iquitos has always been best suited by extreme waiting tactics, and in any case is much better on a left-handed track, which he will get next time in the Grosser Preis von Bayern at Munich on November 1st.He would never have beaten Va Bank in Berlin, as that one was always going best of all in second place, quickened to lead just under two out and quickly went well clear. Va Bank was bred by Airlie Stud in Ireland and sold as a yearling for only 4,500 euros. He ended up in Poland where he won his first eleven races, easily beating the best that his countrymen could throw at him. For his twelfth start he made his first foreign appearance and stunned German racegoers with an easy victory in Baden-Baden´s Spreti-Rennen from subsequent Group One winner Potemkin (New Approach). Later Team Valor bought a half share and he was transferred to Andreas Wöhler. But, like Peace in Motion, he suffered major health problems and was well beaten on both his 2017 starts. In 2018 he has been coming back to form and after being placed on his first four starts – all in good company he thoroughly deserved his win here, partnered as usual by Panamian-born Eduardo Pedroza. He could run next in the Premio Roma, which was still a Group One when Potemkin won in 2016 but has since been relegated to Group Two status. He was rated 116 in 2016 and has been dropped since to 111, but his Hoppegarten form was surely much better.
Another winner on Wednesday worth a mention is the three-year-old filly Amorella, who won Cologne´s listed race by four lengths. Bred by Ittlingen, she has an excellent pedigree, being by Nathaniel out of a Dubawi mare from a top family, but she suffered a serious injury and it seemed that she would never be able to run. However trainer Markus Klug brought her along slowly and she is now unbeaten in three starts; the first two were minor affairs against very weak opposition, but this latest success was gained equally easily in a much stronger field.
Hoppegarten´s meeting continues on Sunday, when the Silbernes Pferd over 3000 metres is the main feature. This race has a long history, dating back to 1832, but this will be the first time it has been run in Berlin since 1944. However, to be frank, this is a weak field for a group race, and should be between Moonshiner and Adler, two sons of Adlerflug who last time out finished third and fourth respectively in the German St. Leger three weeks ago. The supplemented Nikkei (Pivotal) is a lightly-raced three-year-old from a top stable and could be dangerous upped in distance and class.
All eyes will in any case be on Paris this weekend. There are no German-trained runners this year in the Arc, but there could still be a German winner – Waldgeist (Galileo), the four-year-old who is 75% owned by Gestüt Ammerland and out of a Monsun mare from one of the most successful German families ever. There will be some German runners on the undercard: Navaro Girl (Holy Roman Emperor) and Night of England (Lord of England) in the Prix de l´Opera, and Ancient Spirit (Invincible Spirit) in the Foret. In the case of the two last-named, their participation depends on Saturday evening´s Arc sale, where they are both entered.