Moment of 2020: In Swoop

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In Swoop | Marc Rühl

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In Moment of 2020, the staff of TDN Europe reflect on their favourite moments in racing for the year.

In 2019, both Gestut Schlenderhan and the Deutsches Derby celebrated 150th anniversaries. Schlenderhan, Germany's oldest Thoroughbred stud farm, has enjoyed much success throughout the world and is the leading owner when it comes to its home Derby. That record was extended this year when In Swoop (Ger) became the 19th winner of the race to be owned and bred by the Von Ullmann family, a result made all the sweeter by the fact that the colt is by Schlenderhan's 2007 Deutsches Derby winner Adlerflug (Ger), a stallion who remains seriously underrated outside Germany. Furthermore, In Swoop's Classic credentials were completed by his homebred dam Iota (Ger), who won the G1 Preis der Diana and was one of the early stars for her sire Tiger Hill (Ire). The Danehill stallion moved from Schlenderhan to Darley's Dalham Hall Stud the year after his first-crop daughter claimed the German Oaks.

While being very much a product of the widely respected German breeding programme, In Swoop is trained in Chantilly by Francis Graffard, and he thus became the first French-trained winner of the historic race. Baron Georg Von Ullmann has long been a supporter of French racing, with some of his major stars in the heyday of the late Schlenderhan stallion Monsun (Ger) including Manduro (Ger), Getaway (Ger) and Shirocco (Ger), all of whom were trained by Andre Fabre.

A compact and striking colt far more reminiscent of his grandsire In The Wings (GB) than his leggier, chestnut father Adlerflug, In Swoop only made his debut in May, winning readily at Lyon-Parilly before returning there to take third in the G2 Prix Greffulhe, his prep for his Classic engagement. His scything run from near last to win the 151st Deutsches Derby on only his third start was clearly the high point of his season, but subsequent runner-up finishes behind Mogul (GB) in the G1 Grand Prix de Paris and Sottsass (Fr) in the G1 Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe entitle him to be considered one of the best of his generation in Europe.

Graffard has already more than proved himself adapt at handling top-class thoroughbreds and he has brought In Swoop along in the gentle manner which allows both the trainer and the team at Gestut Schlenderhan to dream of further international glory in 2021.

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