Drucken Redaktion Startseite

Japan a welcome addition to German stallion ranks

Adlerflug, German champion sire 2021. www.galoppfoto.de - Sandra Scherning


David Conolly-Smith


Ausgabe 697 vom Freitag, 03.12.2021

With only a few races to come in 2021, the season´s statistics are already more or less set in stone, and it is clear that Adlerflug (In The Wings) will be champion sire for the second successive year. These statistics refer only to domestic results, and if foreign races were included Adlerflug´s dominant position would be much clearer following the victory of his son Torquator Tasso in Europe´s richest race, the Prix de l´Arc de Triomphe, worth over 2.8 million euros to the winner. That sum is almost four times as much as Adlerflug´s winnings in Germany from 37 races won - in fact it is worth more than the combined winnings of the top six stallions in the German list, a sad reflection on the current poor level of prize-money in Germany.

Sadly, Adlerflug died at Easter this year of a heart attack, just when he was beginning to establish himself as a sire of major international importance. His death is a huge blow to the German bloodstock industry, particularly as this year has seen the loss of several more German-based sires, notably Lord Of England (Dashing Blade), in fourth place this year and sire of 2021 German Oaks winner Palmas as well as 2016 German Derby winner Isfahan, himself now a very promising young sire and whose son Sisfahan won this year´s German Derby, the richest race of the German season, which puts Isfahan into second place in the list.

In third place is Soldier Hollow, another son of In The Wings, who has been the most successful sire standing in Germany for the past decade, having been champion three times and also runner-up three more times. Soldier Hollow is also by far the most expensive; although is fee is “private” it was 30,000 euros when last published. No other German stallion commands a five-figure fee, although Adlerflug´s fee for 2021 was 16,000 euros.

In fifth place is the remarkably consistent veteran Areion (Big Shuffle), whose fee is also “on application” as he is now covering only a very limited, for reasons of old age – he will be 27 next year. Soldier Hollow is also reaching the veteran stage – he will be 22 - and his books are also now limited. Soldier Hollow is owned by Helmut von Finck (Gestüt Park Wiedingen) but stands at Gestüt Auenquelle, the owners (but not the breeders) of Torquator Tasso. Current plans are for Torquator Tasso to stay in training next year as a 5yo and then retire to stud at Auenquelle in 2023, where he will presumably replace Soldier Hollow ands of course he also seems to be the right type to rrplace his own sire.

It is a sad commentary on the current situation of the German breeding industry that of the 15 leading sires in the 2021 statistics only five of them are actually currently active in Germany. Four of the tip 15 have died, Tertullian and Kallisto being the other two, and the remainder are based in other countries, mainly in Ireland. Frankel (Galileo) is in sixth position, almost entirely due to the winnings of his triple Group One winning filly Alpinista. Jukebox Jury (Montjeu) and Maxios (Monsun), in 8th and 9th spot, both started their stud careers in Germany, but now mainly cover N.H. mares in Ireland.

The five that are still active are the above mentioned Soldier Hollow, Isfahan and Areion, plus the top miler Amaron (Shamardal) and Reliable Man (Dalakhani), who shuttle from New Zealand, where he has had considerable success. New blood is obviously needed, so it is excellent news that five new sires have already been reported for 2022. No disrespect to the others, but one really stands out and that is Japan (Galileo) who arrived at his new home, Gestüt Etzean this week, having ended his excellent racing career with an honourable eighth place, beaten about six lengths,  in last week´s Japan Cup.

Japan was bred by Newsells Park Stud (at that time owned by the Jacobs family) and was a 1,3 million guineas yearling at Book One of Tattersalls October Yearling Sale, being knocked down to Coolmore and going into training with Aidan O´Brien. Obviously at that price, expectations were high and it is fair to say that he lived up to them. He won seven of his 22 starts, six times at stakes level, winning the Group Two Beresford Stakes at two and at three the Grand Prix de Paris and Juddmonte International Stakes, both major Group One events. For his final two seasons he raced almost exclusively in Group One company and was a most consistent performer at that level. He was also a close third in the Epsom Derby and also fourth in the Arc, although arguably 2000 metres was his best distance.

He is to stand at Etzean; situated in the Odenwald area in the southern part of the state of Hessen. The stud was founded in 1970 by the late Heinz Weil and is still owned and run by his family. Stud manager Ralf Kredel has been there for practically his entire life. Etzean has established itself as one of Germany´s leading stallion stations. They have always done extremely well with their imported stallions. Apart from Dashing Blade and Jukebox Jury, Sholokhov also stood there for several years, and in that time he sired not only German champion Night Magic (on the flat) but also Cheltenham Gold Cup winner Don Cossack. In interviews with the Racing Post and in Germany with Sport-Welt, Kredel has made it clear that Japan ticks almost all the boxes. "We wanted a horse that had won a group race at two and we were especially interested in horses from the Sadler´s Wells sire line, as we have been so successful with them. And the fact that he has German elements in his pedigree is an added bonus, with the two German blue hens Allegretta and Schönbrunn both prominent."

“After Lord of England´s unexpected death, we wanted a top international performer with a top international pedigree, and I think that we have found him. In my opinion he is the best international performer ever to have retired to stud in Germany.” Kredel also made it clear that Coolmore have retained an interest in Japan and that Gestüt Fährhof and the Matusche family are also involved; the latter are longstanding clients and board six mares at Etzean. Obviously they will all be supporting Japan with their mares in 2022 and he has therefore excellent prospects of getting off to a good start. Kredel specifically mentioned Monami as an Etzean mare who will visit Japan in 2022; the Sholokhov mare is already the dam of Miss Yoda (Sea The Stars), the Preis der Diana winner last year.

Of the other news sires Alson looks the most interesting; he is the first Group One winner so far for Etzean´s veteran Areion. He is to stand at Fährhof for a fee of 6,000 euros. The others are Accon (Camelot), to stand for 2,500 euros at Gestüt Lünzen, Fearless King (Kingman), who is to stand at Gestüt Helenenhof for 3,000 euros, and Windstoss (Shirocco), who is to stand at Gestüt Röttgen, for whom he won the 2017 German Derby, for 4,000 euros. All of them could make it to the top, but with all due respect, Japan is the most exciting addition to the German stallion ranks in 2022 and we really hope – and also expect - that he delivers the goods.

David Conolly-Smith

Verwandte Artikel: