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Grosser Preis der VGH – Group 2 (1600m) – Germany Sunday

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Hannover on Sunday sees us take in this striking renewal of the Group 2 with a purse of 70,000 euros up for grabs. It has been won in recent years by Sir Oscar, Arcadio and Martillo, the latter of which who won the race back to back in 2003 and 2004 and was placed in the Group 1 St James Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot.


The first horse to take a look at is AMARON (by Shamardal), he is a five year old now and seems to be getting better with age. His dam Amandalini didn’t manage to register a win in her appearances on the racecourse but she does come from a very nice family. She’s out of Luxurious who has produced ten winners to date. This is the same family as Tropicaro who managed to win the Prix Marcel Boussac as a two year old. Amaron has really upped his game this season and in three runs this term has quickly notched up a couple of G3 wins, including when defeating Chopin on his seasonal reappearance at Dusseldorf [watch here]. Sandwiched in between those wins was a lacklustre performance in the Prix du Muguet at Saint-Cloud, a G2 event.  He was quickly back to winning ways when running out a comfortable winner upped in trip to 1,750m at Dortmund[watch here] on his most recent start and it would be no surprise to see him produce a similar challenge here.


This is a good chance for the classic generation to be tested against their elders and NORDICO[pictured] (by Medicean) is one of a few representatives of that generation. He is out of the mare Norwegian Pride who herself managed a Listed win over 1,600m. She has also produced the Listed winner Nevada, who’s from a family that has also produced Barbola, a G3 winner over 2,000m in the Prix Exbury where he defeated the mighty mare Borgia. Nordico has been a model of consistency this season running 3 times and being placed on each occasion between 1,600m and 2,000m. His reappearance run was a promising second behind Lucky Lion at Krefeld [watch here]. He followed that up by again chasing home the same horse in the G2 German 2000 Guineas over 1,600m [watch here]. That form has been well advertised with the winner going on to finish second in the Deutsches Derby last weekend. His most recent run was up in trip to 2,000m and he only managed 3rd in the Bavarian Classic behind Magic Artist [watch here] and it may be that he just didn’t stay the extended trip that day and the drop back is a plus.


Another of this seasons three year old crop to run is the highly regarded filly AJAXANA (by Rock Of Gibraltar). Her dam Arlekinada was placed in a Listed contest over 1,400m and is a half sister to G2 winning sprinter Amico Fritz who won the Golden Peitsche over 1,200m along with a couple of other black type races. A few generations back and she is from the family of G1 middle distance winner Ataxerxes who won the Europa Preis over 2,400m along with being placed in the Deutsches Derby. Ajaxana is relatively inexperienced with only 3 runs to her name and she has won two of them, most recently the German 1000 Guineas [watch here], form which looks rock solid with the 2nd, 3rd and 6th all running very well in Group company since then and the 4th that day, Evita Peron trained in the UK by Ralph Beckett has won a Listed contest at Newmarket too. The only blemish on her book was when going down a couple of lengths to the unbeaten Meerjungfrau [race available to view here] who has since been transferred over to the USA to race. Even the form of that race has worked out very well with Papagena Star winning a Listed trial for the Preis der Diana on Tuesday.


Of the remainder of the field ABENDWIND (by Wiesenpfad) looks to have good form especially from last season as a 2yo, but he has been stepped up in trip this term and has not been seen to best effect. This drop back to 1,600m could see him in a better light, especially given that his family all tend to do well over this sort of trip.


It really does look a brilliant race on paper and a great opportunity to see the three year olds take on the older and more experienced horses, many of these have some outstanding form to their names; notably with Ajaxana already a Classic winner. You can certainly expect to see her as well as Amaron in a breeding barn in the coming years and both will be welcome additions to German bloodstock.


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