'It's a Love Story': America and Japan Beckon for Fantastic Moon

Fantastic Moon with Sarah Steinberg and jockey Rene Piechulek | Scoop Dyga


Despite having run out the convincing winner of the G2 Prix Niel, one of Sunday's key Arc trials at Longchamp, the Deutsches Derby winner Fantastic Moon (Ger) (Sea The Moon {Ger}) will not run in this year's G1 Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe. Instead he has potential trips to America and Japan on his agenda, according to Lars-Wilhelm Baumgarten, who manages the colt's ownership syndicate Liberty Racing. 

“We have decided not to sell him. We've had big offers from all over the world but we have decided to run him. It's a love story, it's an adventure and we will go this way,” Baumgarten told TDN on Wednesday morning. 

Fantastic Moon is trained in Munich by Sarah Steinberg, a rising star of the training ranks. Earlier this season she became the first female trainer of a Deutsches Derby winner after nothing her first Group 1 success the previous year in the Grosser Preis von Baden with Mendocino (Ger) (Adlerflug {Ger}).

Baumgarten continued, “It's only 18 days between his journey back to Munich after the Prix Niel and then back to Longchamp, and in our opinion that is too much for him. He loves to have a break of about six weeks between races and we believe that he will be a very good four-year-old.

“He's fit and well. He had a vet check today and we are very happy with him and we want to go to the big races next year. We want to create a sire. The Arc is a big, big race and it could be run on soft ground, nobody knows at the moment. He loves good ground, so the Breeders' Cup Turf at Santa Anita and the Japan Cup, which is also considered, are safer when it comes to finding good ground.”

In a statement released by Liberty Racing, Sarah Steinberg said, “I am obviously very happy about this decision and very grateful. Fantastic Moon is a great horse who is still maturing and therefore he needs an appropriate break between races.”

Baumgarten's Classic success in Germany in 2023 has not been confined to his involvement with Fantastic Moon. He is the co-breeder of the G1 Preis der Diana winner Muskoka (Ger), who is also by Sea The Moon, and he retains a 25% share of the filly along with three partners. 

On Tuesday it was announced that Muskoka would be one of three German Classic winners to be auctioned at Arqana's Arc Sale on the eve of the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe, along with 2,000 Guineas winner Angers (Fr) (Seabhac) and last year's Derby winner Sammarco (Ire) (Camelot {GB}).

Baumgarten added, “We will sell Muskoka at the Arc Sale if the price is good. She has a nomination for the Prix de l'Opera on that weekend. I still have her mother and I have her sister.”


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