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The English page - Two-year-olds in the spotlight

Lizaid (Bauyrzhan Murzabayev). www.galoppfoto.de - Sarah Bauer


David Conolly-Smith


Ausgabe 691 vom Freitag, 22.10.2021

Last week´s meeting in Baden-Baden, the Sales & Racing Festival, must be regarded as a major success and the new management team, Baden Galopp, who took over in April this year, must be complimented on their excellent start. The two race days went well, helped by really pleasant autumn weather, which of course is not always the case in October (e.g. the Paris Arc meeting a fortnight ago!). But help from above is always necessary for the staging of outdoor events.

BBAG´s mixed sale, held after racing on Friday and all day on Saturday,. also went well, in fact much better than had been expected. The middle market was strong and the disposal rate very high. A large number of horses, mainly near the bottom end of the market, were sold to Eastern Europe, and in some cases even further East, with Kazakhan interests accounting for no fewer than 15 yearlings and two horses in training. But French buyers were also often involved, and so was David Futter, whose Yorton Farm has in recent years been strong on German-bred N.H. performers. The turnover of 2.8 million euros, although modest by the standards of Tattersalls last week or Fasig-Tipton next, was a new record for the sale.

As far as the racing is concerned, two-year-olds were in the spotlight, and the main events on both days were restricted to this age group. Cologne trainer Peter Schiergen was the big scorer here, saddling not only both winners but also the third-placed in both races as well. In Friday´s Ferdinand Leisten-Memorial over 1400 metres, a BBAG sales race which is Germany´s richest juvenile event, his second string Georgios (Poet´s Voice) was a ready winner under Sibylle Vogt, scoring by 1 ½ lengths from La Estrellita (Churchill) with the stable´s main fancy Fire Of The Sun (Areion) the same distance back in third. The winner was qualified for the race as he had gone through the ring in the 2020 October sale, but had been led out unsold at 36,000 euros, and he still runs in the colours of his breeder Gestüt Ebbesloh. He is from a very solid family; his third dam Golden Time, a daughter of the influential Surumu, won over hurdles and was also listed-placed on the flat, but did much better as a broodmare, with Group One winner Girolamo, Italian Oaks winner Goose Bay and multiple group winner Gereon among her 11 successful progeny.

Sunday´s main event was less valuable, but more prestigious, the Group Three Die Winterkönigin – Preis des Derbysiegers Sisfahan (as it was officially named), Germany´s top race for 2yo fillies. This time stable jockey Bauyrzhan Murzasbayev had made the right choice and he partnered Gestüt Haus Zoppenbroich´s homebred Lizaid (Zarak) to a comfortable victory, scoring by 2 ½ lengths from the front-runner Rondina (Intello), with Sibylle Vogt on the third home, the Ammerland homebred Barina (Gleneagles) with the favourite Lacuna (Shalaa) a rather unlucky fourth. With a better run Lacuna would probably have finished runner-up but it is doubtful whether he could have defeated the winner, who had quite a bit in hand and was clearly the best horse in the race.

Lizaid is by first season sire Zarak (Dubawi out of Arc winner Zarkava!) who has made an excellent start to his stud career, and is also leading first season sire in France, while he had another very promising winner in Baden-Baden, Gestüt Ittlingen´s homebred Lavello, who won the opening mile maiden in good style. Lizaid herself is from the best family of Ina Emma Zimmermann, who is based at the historic Gestüt Zoppenbroich, which for so many years belonged to the Bresges family. Lizaid´s grandam Linton Bay won three listed races and was herself dam of the smart Liang Kay (Dai Jin), winner of the Group Two Union-Rennen, and his full sister Laey Diamond, dam of Lacazar (Adlerflug), winner of the 2017 Preis der Diana. Most of Sunday´s runners, including the first three, are entered in the 2022 edition of that race; that event is still a long way away, but Barina, third here, appeals as a long term hope; although she is by the miler Gleneagles, she is from a stout family and her grandam Borgia (Acatenango) won the Germany Derby.

The action now moves to Hanover, where there is a strong card on Sunday, featuring a group race and two listed events. Most of the races are sponsored by leading German studs, as there is also a breeders´ conference in Hanover at the weekend.  The main event is now called the Grosser Preis von Gestüt Auenquelle und Torquator Tasso and is for 3yo and older fillies and mare over 2200 metres. In actual fact ten of the eleven runners are 3yo´s and the only older horse Monna (Rock of Gibraltar), although useful, does not quite good enough. Waldbiene (Intello) won a similar race during the Baden-Baden Grosse Woche, beating several of these opponents, and will probably start favourite to follow up.

One of the listed races is also confined to fillies and mares, the Grosser Preis der Mehl-Mülhens-Stiftung for 2yo´s over 1400 metres. Obviously this is a much weaker race than last week´s Winterkönigin, but Peter Schiergen could again saddle the winner. He has two runners, the better of whom would appear to be Gestüt Park Wiedingen´s Dishina (Soldier Hollow), who is also the mount of the stable jockey. She won in good style on her debut at Hoppegarten, but then was slightly disappointing when only fourth in a listed race on her second start. However this opposition looks weaker and she is top-rated here.

It could be a double for Park Wiedingen and Peter Schiergen, as Dishina´s 3yo full sister Dibujaba  also has a chance in the other listed race, the Grosser Preis des Gestüt Etzean over 1400 metres. However Dibujaba, a 3yo filly, has to give weight away to older horses here, which will not be easy. Best on ratings here is Sampras (Iffraaj), but his high rating is based on his fourth place in the Mehl-Mülhens-Rennen and he has twice disappointed since. This looks a very tricky race, and not made any easier by the fact that four foreign raiders also line up, two from Sweden and one each from France and England. The British runner Harrison Point (Speightstown) has good handicap form and will probably be suited by the expected soft ground, but even so, hardly looks good enough, while the Swedish form is impossible to decipher. The French hope, Henri-Alex Pantall´s Godolphin-owned filly Romantic Song (Shamardal) looks much more dangerous. She was trained last year by Charlie Appleby and transferred to Pantall with the objective of winning some black type. The trainer has an extremely good record of doing just that – especially in these Hanover listed races – and could do so again. Romantic Song has already run well in Germany, when narrowly beaten by Sharoka (Rock of Gibraltar) a month ago over 1600 metres here. There should be little between them again but it would not come as a surprise were Romantic Song to reverse the form this time.

David Conolly-Smith

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