Ausgabe 513 vom Freitag, 13.04.2018
Last weekend the only racing we had was at Düsseldorf, and the two main events were both won by horses whose trainers had expressed reservations before the race that their charges might still be a bit backward following the long cold spell. In the event locally-trained Wonnemond (Areion) won the Group Three mile race in good style, coming as usual with a late run from last place, while the listed race for three-year-olds saw Darius Racing's French-bred Alounak (Camelot) put up the best performance so far seen in Germany this year.
Wonnemond had won the mile race last year as well, but he was penalised this time following his victory in a very lucrative Turkish race, in which he also finished like a rocket from last place. Millowitsch (Sehrezad) made the running at a good pace and seemed to have the run won at the distance, but had no answer to Wonnemond´s flying finish. It was a good result for Germany's sales company BBAG, as both of them are graduates of their 2014 October´s mixed sale. Wonnemond cost only 9,000 euros and has now won fifty times that amount in prize-money Millowitsch was also cheap at 17,000 euros and has also been very profitable.
Wonnemond is a fine advertisement for his sire Areion (Big Shuffle), who was Germany´s champion sire again last year. He himself was best at six furlongs but gets plenty of smart milers, and sometimes winners over longer distances as well. Areion is still going strong at the age of 23 and in fact moved to a new home at Gestüt Etzean this year and had his fee raised as well! It is a completely different situation with Millowitsch, whose sire, the Irish-bred Sehrezad (Titus Livius), was a decent miler but covered very few mares before his early death. Millowitsch appears to be his only black type performer and has already emulated his sire by winning three pattern races. He and Wonnemond are likely to meet again as they are entered in some of the same races, but Millowitsch has an advantage in that he is more versatile and equally effective over six or seven furlongs.
Noor Al Hawa (Makfi) started at odds-on at Düsseldorf, but only finished third, beaten one and a half lengths. This can be regarded as a slight disappointment, as he had the best form going into the race and was receiving weight from the first two. Strangely, he appeared unhappy on the track, although he had won all his previous starts there. Possibly the very sticky ground found him out, he is certainly better than that. He will need to be as trainer Andreas Wöhler has entered him for the Group One Lockinge Stakes, where the straight mile could be ideal, and the alternative is a very rich race in Singapore.
As mentioned above, Alounak was an impressive winner of the listed race over eleven furlongs and is now quoted as joint favourite for the Deutsches Derby at Hamburg on July 8th. He is from the very promising first crop of Camelot (Montjeu) and he will certainly get the trip at Hamburg. Here his jockey rode a very patient race, keeping him well covered up until the final furlong and a half. However when he pressed the button, the reaction was instantaneous and Alounak immediately quickened to go well clear in the final stages and score by six lengths. It is not clear what he beat, but he could hardly have won more easily. The Derby is a long way away and he may take in the Italian version first, or possible the Prix Greffulhe.
The action moves a few kilometers up the Rhine to Cologne this Sunday, where the main event is the Group Three Karin Baronin von Ullmann-Schwarzgold-Rennen for three-year-old fillies. This is an early season trial for the German 1,000 Guineas at Düsseldorf on May 27th and most of the runners are entered in that race. One exception is the lone foreign raider, Sylvester Kirk´s Dance Me (Bernadini), runner-up in a class two race at Kempton last week. She might therefore have a fitness advantage, but faces a stiff task in her quest for black type. Four of the seven German runners ran in last October´s Preis der Winterkönigin, Germany´s top race for juvenile fillies. Suada (Maxios), Angelita (Areion), Dina (Nathaniel) and Bützke (It´s Gino) finished second, third, fourth and sixth respectively.
The Cologne race is named afterSchwarzgold, the Schlenderhan filly who won the 1940 German Derby and then founded a thoroughbred dynasty which is still extremely successful today. Fans will also be looking down under this weekend, when another Schlenderhan-bred Almandin (Monsun) attempts to bring off the rare Melbourne Cup- Sydney Cup double, a feat which has only ever been achieved six times. The eight-year-old gelding won the Melbourne Cup in 2016 and recently won the Group One Tancred Stakes in good style. Monsun (Königsstuhl), who sired three Melbourne Cup winners, itself quite an achievement for a German stallion, died in 2012 and there are now very few runners left, but it will be a huge feather in his cap if Almandin, who is clear favourite but must concede weight all round, brings off this double.