Derby Dream For €500,000 Soldier Hollow Colt

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The €500,000 top lot by Soldier Hollow | Helmut von Finck

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BADEN-BADEN, Germany–It may be only a short flight from Doncaster to Baden-Baden but in bloodstock terms it's a world away. While the crowd at the Goffs UK Premier Sale is preoccupied with precocity and speed, at BBAG most of the post-transaction chat involves the word 'Derby'.

It's refreshing to hear such devotion to the Classic cause in a country whose breeders are still focused on the pursuit of glory in German racing's holy grail, the G1 Deutsches Derby. And for those on each side of the sale of the BBAG top lot (182), a €500,000 brother to Group 1 winner Dschingis Secret (Ger) (Soldier Hollow {GB}), it's a case of 'if at first you don't succeed, then try again'. Dschingis Secret landed his highest-profile win in last month's G1 Grosser Preis von Berlin, but his third-place finish in last year's Derby, which went to an appeal after the jockeys on the first two horses home breached the whip rule, still rankles the horse's owner Horst Pudwill. Come 2019, he hopes to have another shot at Derby glory with Dschingis Secret's younger sibling, bought from his breeder Helmut von Finck of Gestut Park Wiedingen.

Pudwill, who is based in Hong Kong, wasn't present at the sale but did his bidding via telephone through a BBAG agent, who confirmed that the colt will go into training in Germany with Markus Klug, who also trains his brother and was successful in this year's Deutsches Derby with Windstoss (Ger) (Shirocco {Ger}).

Von Finck, who raced Soldier Hollow and stands him at Gestut Auenquelle, said, “Thirty years ago I bought this colt's third dam [Diana Dance (Can)] at Keeneland. It is one of my favourite families and one which has been very good to me all the way through, especially the dam of this colt, Divya. She has been mated exclusively with Soldier Hollow–I have to keep going back after her first foal was a Group 1 winner–and she has a lovely filly foal by him this year who will not be for sale.”

The winner of three races at four and five, Divya (Ger) (Platini {Ger}) is also the dam of the Group 3 runner-up Diana Storm (Ger).

Despite some notable highlights, it's fair to say that the trade was patchy throughout a marathon session in Iffezheim, where 177 of the 252 horses offered were marked as sold at a rate of 70%, falling from 78% last year. Turnover was down by 8% to €7,783,000 and the average and median both dropped slightly, by 2%, to €43,971 and €44,000.

Good Moon Rising
The 11-length G1 Deutsches Derby victory of Sea The Moon is clearly still fresh in the memory of many in his native country as the young Lanwades stallion was very much the toast of Baden-Baden, where 13 of his first-crop yearlings sold for an average of €97,769.

Leading the bunch at €460,000 was a colt from Gestut Gorlsdorf, the East German farm owned by Heike Bischoff and Niko Lafrentz, who bred and raced the son of Sea The Stars (Ire). The second-top lot of the sale (49) is a son of the winning Montjeu (Ire) mare Favorite (Ger) who has already produced the Hughie Morrison-trained five-time winner Fun Mac (Ger) (Shirocco {Ger}), a Listed scorer on his most recent outing at Maisons-Laffitte.

The colt was one of two acquisitions by Godolphin at the sale, with Blandford Bloodstock agent Tom Goff acting on behalf of Sheikh Mohammed's operation and withstanding strong international interest from Norwegian trainer Wido Neuroth, who had to settle for the role of underbidder, as well as Australian agent Justin Bahen.

“My partner Richard Brown helped to negotiate the deal for Sea The Moon to stand at Lanwades. He was a hugely talented racehorse and we think he's going to be a really good stallion prospect,” said Goff. “This was just an exceptionally nice horse, a really great mover.”

Heike Bischoff was on hand to congratulate the buyer and added, “It's super special–even more so because he's not just by Sea The Moon but out of my favourite mare Favorite.”

Delighted by the reception given to her stallion from a diverse pool of buyers at BBAG, Bischoff, who plans to race between 10 and 15 homebred members of Sea The Moon's first crop, said, “I'm absolutely thrilled and it's a relief as much as anything. It's a big risk for a small breeder to support a stallion so strongly so I'm pleased to see so much confidence in him from big owners and agents.”

She continued, “It was a tough decision for me not to stand the horse in Germany but it is hard for a German stallion to become truly international. In Newmarket he had a good chance because it is the centre of the breeding world and there are so many mares visiting. He has been well supported and there are some really nice yearlings to be sold in Newmarket next month.”

Among the best-selling yearlings by Sea The Moon was lot 120, a colt out of Moonlight Rhapsody (Ire) (Danehill Dancer {Ire}), a winning half-sister to Group 2 winner Fantastic Love (Peintre Celebre), who was bred in Britain by James Stewart of Wellsummers Stud. The colt will remain in Germany to race after being bought by Stall Mandarin for €140,000.

“This was an experiment really and it's a first for me to sell here,” said Stewart, who consigned the colt through Peter Rodde's Gestut Westerberg. “I was introduced to Peter by Charlie Parker of Crimbourne Stud, who is now leasing Wellsummers from me. My mares are still at the stud, including Moonlight Rhapsody who has a lovely Al Kazeem foal at foot and is in foal to Havana Gold.”

Peter and Ross Doyle bought the most expensive Sea The Moon filly of the sale (lot 199), another bred by Gorlsdorf from the young Listed winner Nouvelle Lune (Ger) (Big Shuffle). She will be trained in Norway by Wido Neuroth after bringing the hammer down at €180,000.

Though slightly upstaged by his young son, Sea The Stars made his mark via his sole representative in the catalogue, lot 191, another to be sold to Godolphin through Tom Goff.

“He's a typical Sea The Stars, who we really like. As an April 1 colt he's relatively late and he's just going to mature all the time,” said the agent after signing the ticket at €200,000. The first foal is out of the dual winner Intimhir (Ire) (Muthathir {GB}), a grand-daughter of the great Sacarina (GB) (Old Vic {GB}), dam of three German Classic winners in Samum (Ger), Schiaparelli (Ger) and Salve Regina (Ger).

Master Class
Coolmore stallion Mastercraftsman (Ire) was another whose offspring were prominent on the leader board, with seven marked as sold for an average of €125,285.

Agent Suzanne Roberts signed for the most expensive (lot 186), a filly out of the black-type winner and producer Felicity (Ger) (Inchinor {GB}), for €250,000. The half-sister to the German champion miler Felician (Ger) (Motivator {GB}) was offered on behalf of breeder Janet Lewe-Ostermann of Gestut Haus Itlingen by Ronald Rauscher.

Bertrand Le Metayer was unwilling to divulge the identity of the new owner of lot 198, Gestut Wittenkindshof's Mastercraftsman half-sister to the Hong Kong-based Pakistan Star (Ger) (Shamardal) who was bought for €235,000, while former football manager Klaus Aloffs went to €140,000 for lot 52 Mastercraftsman (Ire), the first foal of Listed winner Goiania (GB) (Oasis Dream {GB}) from Gestut Fahrhof. Aloffs currently races Group 1 winner Potemkin (Ger) (New Approach {Ire}) with Andreas Jacobs' operation.

Another first-season stallion to make his mark on the day's trade was Galileo's Derby-winning son Australia (GB), the sire of Gestut Westerberg's homebred colt out of the Group 3 winner and G1 Preis der Diana runner-up Diamond Dove (Ger) (Dr Fong). The first foal was sold to local owner-breeder Peter Endres for €110,000.

Pinhooking Profit For Casse
The team from the Hong Kong Jockey Club pounced for the sole son of Kodiac (GB) in the catalogue (lot 195), who sold for €200,000 through Stauffenberg Bloodstock having been pinhooked by Justin Casse for 50,000gns at Tattersalls last December. Bred in Ireland by Nafferty Stud, the colt is a half-brother to GII Mac Diarmida H. winner Ramazutti (Honor Grades).

Dabirsim's popularity may not yet quite be in Kodiac's league but he is a stallion on the rise and members of his second crop, the last to be conceived in Germany at Gestut Karlshof before he moved to Haras de Grandcamp in France, were understandably popular. With 11 2-year-old winners on the board including Royal Ascot heroine Different League (Fr), Dabirsim has two six-figure lots sold at Baden-Baden on Friday, including lot 35, bought by Suzanne Roberts for an undisclosed Irish-based client for €100,000. The Karlshof-consigned colt is a grandson of dual Grade I winner Janet (Emperor Jones).

Later in the session, Finn Blichfelt went to €130,000 for lot 216, this colt consigned by Eric Lhermite of Grandcamp and a son of German Listed winner Amazing Beauty (Ger) (Bahamian Bounty {GB}).

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