By: Liesl King

10 Oct 2013 Written by Liesl King Comments 0


Lot 253 in the ring



A new European record was set at Tattersalls October Book 1 when the half brother to Oaks runner up Secret Gesture(GB) was knocked down to John Magnier for 3.6 million guineas. In the packed auditorium, David Redvers stunned the assembled spectators when he opened the bidding on the Galileo(IRE) colt, out of the Danehill mare Shastye(IRE), with a bid of 1 million guineas. The outstanding colt was consigned by Andreas Jacobs’ Newsells Park Stud Ltd and both parties considered him a potential stallion prospect.


The record however stood for less than 24 hours, before another Galileo, the full sister to Group 1 Investec Oaks winner Was(IRE), was knocked down for 5 million guineas (roughly R78 million) to Mandore International for Al Shaqab Racing after another bidding war with Coolmore’s Magnier. Itwas a new world record for a filly. The sale also represents the highest price in European auction history, beating the 4.6m guineas that Magical Romance realised at the 2006 Tattersalls December Mare Sale.


Consigned by Lodge Park Stud, Ireland, the filly out of the Green Desert mare Alluring Park, from the family of new sire sensation New Approach(IRE) and Champion European Three Year Old Filly Dazzling Park(IRE) will go into training with Andre Fabre.


Ibrahim Araci opened the bidding at 500,000gns, with Charlie Gordon-Watson and John Magnier both involved to the 2 million guineas mark. At that point Gordon-Watson and Araci bowed out and Mandore stepped in. It was then a head to head through to the record price, with the Coolmore crew eventually gathering into a huddle for a final discussion.


"She is a magnificent specimen," said Nicholas de Watrigant. "We bought her sister last year and we think she could be special, we didn't want to miss this one - let's hope she is the next Treve!


We didn't expect to pay that sort of price, but Al Shaqab Racing is keen to invest. She goes into training with Monsieur Fabre."


When asked if maybe she does not need to race at all, Watrigant laughed: "Don't let Monsieur Fabre hear you say that!"



Lot 253 by Galileo(IRE) out of Alluring Park(IRE)



09 Oct 2013 Written by Liesl King Comments 0




Lot 144, by Galileo out of Shastye consigned by Newsells Park Stud Limited

After an astonishing opening bid of 1 miilion guineas, Lot 144 rewrote the records books, when the beautiful bay colt sold for 3.6 million guineas at the Tattersalls October Book 1 Yearling Sale. By Galileo(IRE) out of Shastye(IRE), the colt was the talk horse of the sale and it came as no surprise when John Magnier of Coolmore and Sheikh Fahad bin Hamad Al Thani ended up in a bidding war over the colt. The hammer eventually came down on Magnier's bid of 3.6 million guineas, setting a new European record for a yearling.

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Lot 144 in the ring



09 Oct 2013 Written by Liesl King Comments 0


Thierry Jarnet salutes as Treve crossed the line in solitary splendour




She was a three-year-old filly, she had only had four starts and she was drawn out wide in barrier 15.  Not a promising start for the Criquette Head-Maarek trained Treve, but the filly had one thing in her favour, she did not know how to lose.


Regular pilot Thierry Jarnet was back in the saddle after Frankie Dettori, who was new owner Sheikh Joaan Bin Hamad Al Thani's stable jockey, broke his ankle. The filly cruised at the back of the field, until the approach to the home turn, where Jarnet pulled her wide and in a matter of strides she was up with the leaders.


Then Jarnet did the unthinkable, he sent Treve into the lead with more than 400m still to go. There was a collective gasp of despair from the crowd, surely he had just commited suicide on the brave filly. But Treve is not any filly, she is an unbeaten superstar.


The expected challenge from Japanese star Orfevre and French trained colt Intello came, but Treve simply changed gears and lengthened the gap even more. The official winning margin was 5 lengths, but had Jarnet actually bother to ask the filly to extend herself, it would have been more. What is even more extraordinary is Treve's finishing speed.


She completed the last 600m in a blistering 34.74, the fastest 600m on the day, faster even than the last 600m of the Group 1 Sprint, the Prix de l'Abbaye.  Head-Maarek confirmed that racing's newest superstar will remain in training next year and then casually suggested that there is still some improvement to come from the filly. What a mouth-watering prospect.



Treve parades before the running of the Arc






Treve passes the Longines clock on the way to victory




Jarnet salutes as Treve returns triumphant




Treve and Thierry Jarnet



06 Oct 2013 Written by Liesl King Comments 0


A lone spectator at the start of the day


The course at Longchamp looking magnificent




Champagne is never far away........


05 Oct 2013 Written by Liesl King Comments 0

145 Years ago, Prussian King Wilhelm 1 attended the opening ceremony of the Hoppegarten racecourse, known today as one of the best turf course in Germany. As Berlin’s premier course, its heyday came during the years 1925 to 1945 when over 1200 horses trained at its six training tracks. Sadly, the war intervened and in 1945 the property spanning 775 hectares was confiscated from the Union-Klub. The oldest Jockey Club in Germany, the Union-Klub was considered to be aristocratic and hence an enemy of the working class.


Situated in the communist eastern part of Berlin, Hoppegarten found itself on the wrong side of the wall after the war and it would take 45 years before racing once again took place on its green turf. On 31 March 1990, six months after the iron curtain finally vanished, the first race since unification took place at Hoppegarten. The course was sold out with 40 000 avid racegoers attending.


Today Hoppegarten is owned by the London-based financier, Gerhard Schöningh and is home to several Group races, including the Group 1 Grosser Preis von Berlin, run during July. Yearly the season culminates on the 3rd of October with the Group 3 Westminster Preis der Deutschland Einheit, won convincingly this year by the Peter Schiergen trained Neatico.


The racing was exciting and despite the freezing temperatures, 12800 fans packed out the course. Added attractions were a visit by War Horse puppet Joey and the appearance of the bay overo thoroughbred Silvery Moon. Despite not having won a race yet, the striking coloured two-year-old is so popular that he has his own facebook page with over 2700 fans.


With a Group 1 victory behind his name, Neatico was the leading fancy for the main race and the six-year-old did not disappoint, charging clear before easing down to win convincingly under Andrasch Starke. Enthusiastic celebrations by his connections followed, with the appreciative crowd packed around the winner’s enclosure. Indeed a fitting ending to a great day’s racing.


Hoppegarten may not be back to its glory days yet, but the turf track is still one of the best in the country and the racecourse caters to the visitor’s every whim. So if you want to experience German racing at its best and in the most beautiful of surroundings, then head for Hoppegarten, you will definitely not be disappointed.


Fans lining the home straight




Racegoers come in all shapes, sizes and ages




Joey the War Horse puppet rearing in front of the grandstand




Silvery Moon, a study in brown and white.




Silvery Moon in action in the second race





Neatico stretching out under Andrasch Starke wins the Group 3 Westminster Preis der Deutschen Einheit





Starke salutes the crowd as Neatico returns





The crowd around the winner's enclosure





Herr Ostermann celebrating Neatico's victory