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The English page - The winner was...Mr Hollywood

Mr Hollywood, Andrasch Starke on board. www.galoppfoto.de


Redaktion Turf-Times


Ausgabe 811 vom Freitag, 05.04.2024

Well last weekend’s racing ended as we expected it would. Berlin-Hoppegarten opened its gates to 12.500 racing fans and friends, and they were treated to some fine racing so early in the turf season. It’s not often anywhere in the world, that you see probably the two best 4-year-olds in training in a country, take each other on in a "Listed Race" in the first weeks. But in Germany, the first two from last year’s Derby did exactly that and as expected the finish in this 5-runner race involved the two principals. In the Preis von Dahlwitz over 2000 meters (1m2f), the Derby winner and freshly crowned Horse of the year 2023 Fantastic Moon (Sea the Moon) was marginally preferred in the betting market over his old rival Mr Hollywood (Iquitos).

The race would be run tactically as in most small field affairs and as the stalls opened it was clear there would be no pacemaker, so Andrasch Starke had no options than let Mr Hollywood stride on, whereas Rene Piechulek was making sure Fantastic Moon relaxed and that he did extremely well running in a hood for the first time. On the good to soft ground Mr Hollywood was allowed to dictate at his pace and Starke sent him for home on entering the straight. Piechulek was wise to move and steered Fantastic Moon around the field to follow Mr Hollywood from the 2-furlong marker. For an instance it looked like the Derby winner would reel the pacesetter in, but Mr Hollywood was dogged and tough and sticking to the task well, always held Fantastic Moon to come home a 1 ½ length winner for trainer Henk Grewe and owners HH Sheikh ABK Al Thani, Wanja Oberhof and Sebastian Jonas Weiss. Fantastic Moon himself had 2 ½ lengths to spare over the good running third Lightning Jack (Lawman) from the Frank Fuhrmann stables.

In the second Listed race, the Preis des Gestuets Lunzen & Friends for 4-year-old and older fillies over the mile (1600 meters), it was a nice win for the local trained Peace of Rose (Soldier Hollow). The Roland Dzubasz trained filly came home an easy 4 ½ lengths in front of Ithaque (Oasis Dream) who held off Wild Perfection (Siyouni) by a neck for second place. The Gestuet Etzean owned and bred winner was steered home by Sibylle Vogt.

Cologne on Easter Monday saw plenty of rain early morning, making the ground heavy and some of the races were started with the flag including the main event the Grand Prix Aufgalopp a listed race for 4-year-old and older horses over 2400 meters (1m4f). Here the 16/10 favorite Assistent (Sea the Moon) duly obliged and ran out a 6-length winner again for trainer Henk Grewe. Owned by the racecourse President, Eckhard Sauren, he was ridden by his stable Jockey Thore Hammer Hansen. He was followed home by Best of Lips (The Gurkha) and Waldadler (Adlerflug) but it was really a one horse race with the outcome never in doubt. We saw some nice performances in Cologne, none more so as Anspruch (New Bay) in the 2100 meters (1m 2 ½ f) 3-year-old maiden. Making his debut here, he made the running and quickened nicely in the straight to win albeit by only a neck from Sign of Stars (Cloth of Stars) another having his first run. The winner was the perfect start for his trainer, ex Derby winning Jockey Maxim Pecheur, who has taken over the reins at Gestuet Roettgen this year replacing Markus Klug. A first runner and a first winner. 

In the warmer climates of Dubai, the German representative Sisfahan (Isfahan) found it all a bit too difficult in the Group I Sheema Classic, eventually finishing 10th of the 12 starters. The 6-million-dollar event was won by the in Germany well known Godolphin runner, Rebels Romance (Dubawi), who had previously won the 132nd Grosser Preis von Berlin Group I and the Preis von Europa Group I in 2022. The now 6-year-old ran out a 5-length winner here for trainer Charlie Appleby and Jockey William Buick. The main event the Dubai World Cup was won by Juddmonte Farms owned Laurel River (Into Mischref). Trained locally by Bhupat Seemar and ridden by Irish Jockey and Emirates Champion Tadgh O Shea, he ran out an 8 ½ length winner from the japanese Ushba Tesoro (Orfevre) and American Senor Buscador (Mineshaft). Bauyrzhan Murzabayev´s mount Dura Erede (Duramente) ran a cracking race to finish 5th of the 12 runners, the Japanese runner taking home over 1 million AED for his effort. 

Young Italian born Jockey Stefano Cherchi, 23, has died two weeks on from suffering a fall when riding in Australia. The rider was placed in intensive care with a serious head injury after his mount fell during a race at Canberra on March 20. He had ridden over 100 winners in England while being attached to the Marco Botti stables in Newmarket and had just moved at the start of this year to Australia. Our sincere condolences to the Cherchi family, friends, and colleagues. Much strength in this difficult time. 

This weekend’s racing consists of two minor meeting, saturday we have Mannheim and sunday Muelheim.

Shannon Spratter


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