Stars Come Out For BBAG 

The Sea The Stars half-sister to two German Derby winners | Emma Berry

BADEN-BADEN, Germany–There was a dramatic start to the day on the eve of Germany's premier yearling sale at BBAG when a number of agents, vets and consignors were evacuated as the Radisson Blu Badischer Hof Hotel caught fire in the early hours of Thursday morning. Solenn Gouesnard of Haras d'Ombreville was taken to hospital temporarily with smoke inhalation but everyone else escaped unscathed, though many were left without clothes and passports.

“We spent all night on the street in pyjamas,” said Matt Coleman, who had arrived with a group which had travelled straight from the Tattersalls sale in Newmarket the evening before.

Despite disruptions to the start of viewing for some of the international visitors to Iffezheim, there was an air of optimism on the sales grounds ahead of Germany's major sale. 

BBAG's managing director Klaus Eulenberger said, “The pedigrees are really good this year and the horses are nice too. The vendors have done an excellent job.”

A slightly smaller catalogue of 223 yearlings, down from 257 in 2020, has been reduced further by 27 scratchings.

“The only small disappointment is to have so many withdrawals, that's unusual for this sale,” Eulenberger continued. “We have the usual major buyers here so we're happy with that. There's a good mood in Germany and it's great with the Baden-Baden racetrack now under new management. We have had two fantastic race days here on Sunday and [Wednesday] already.”

The usual six race meetings during the Baden-Baden Festival has been reduced to four this year, with the action set to continue on Saturday and Sunday. BBAG is also now a shareholder in the racecourse which sits alongside the complex.

“It's very important for us selling horses here to have a racetrack that is working well,” Eulenberger explained. “This is the best racetrack in Germany and we are quite happy that we have a foot in the door and are partly responsible for what's going on. We've all known each other for a long time and we have a great collaboration with the guys there. We're running a racecourse with friends and the whole region is behind it.”

The action on the track on Wednesday provided a superb double update in consecutive races for lot 84, a Sea The Moon (Ger) filly offered by Gestüt Ohlerweiherhof on behalf of breeder Lars-Wilhelm Baumgarten. The chestnut filly's half-siblings, 3-year-old Morning Eagle (Ger) (Adlerflug {Ger}) and 2-year-old Manolas (GB) (Rajsaman {Fr}), are both trained by Henk Grewe and shed their maiden status within an hour of each other at Baden-Baden.

Eulenberger said,  “After the first race the dam had no winner on the page but after the third race she had two! And they won in style. It was great to see.”

Their dam Morning Mist (Ger) is a Peintre Celebre half-sister to dual French Classic winner and Gestüt Ebbesloh-based sire Brametot (Ire) (Rajsaman {Fr}), while the family also boasts the most celebrated German stallion of the modern era in Monsun (Ger), who was a half-brother to grandam Morning Light (Ger) (Law Society {Ire}).

Gestüt Görlsdorf's full-sister to the German Derby winner and popular sire Sea The Moon was the most expensive yearling at last year's sale at a record-equalling  €820,000, the second year in a row that a filly by Sea The Stars (Ire) had topped trade. In 2018, the co-sale-topper at €280,000 was another daughter of Sea The Stars who would go on to be named Miss Yoda (Ger) and win last year's G1 Preis der Diana for her owner Georg Von Opel. 

For breeder Gestut Etzean, this was only the first half of a remarkable double, however, as the farm run by the Kredel family also bred the winner of the same Classic this year in Palmas (Ger). She is a daughter of their own stallion Lord Of England (Ger), who also featured as the grandsire of the runner-up Isfahani (Ger) and of the G1 Deutsches Derby winner Sisfahan (Fr), both by Isfahan (Ger). Etzean this year offers a full-sister to Miss Yoda as lot 192, their dam Monami  (Ger) being a former champion 2-year-old and by another previous resident of the stud, Sholokhov (Ire). Also in the draft is a Soldier Hollow (GB) colt out of a full-sister to Palmas (lot 202), the Classic winner having been the final foal of her dam Peace Time (Ger) (Surumu {Ger}).

Will it be another big year for Sea The Stars in Iffezheim? There is certainly every chance as another of his standout lots from six yearlings catalogued and five on the sales ground after withdrawals is the half-sister to the Derby winners Windstoss (Ger) (Shirocco {Ger}) and Weltstar (Ger) (Soldier Hollow {GB}). The elegant dark brown filly is consigned as lot 54 by her breeder Gestüt Röttgen.

“She shows herself very well and I am quite hopeful that the market will like her,” said Röttgen's manager Frank Dorff on Thursday morning. “She has a very good pedigree–it's very German but I hope that this rare opportunity to buy into a strong German family which is a bit of an outcross for some breeders will appeal.

It's not a foal share, she is being offered because we have so many fillies out of the dam and I thought she would be attractive to an international market. So we'll see.”

The filly's dam Wellenspiel (Ger), a dual-winning daughter of Sternkonig from a family which has been developed by Röttgen “almost forever”, according to Dorff,  has a full-sister to Weltstar, the second of her consecutive German Derby winners, on the ground but she is not in foal this year. 

Dorff added, “We kept her Dubawi [2-year-old] because she had an X-ray issue but she is in training now and is cantering.”

Also among the Röttgen draft are four yearlings from the first crop of one of the farm's resident stallions, Millowitsch (Ger). The 8-year-old son of Sehrezad (Ire) who was himself by Machiavellian's son Titus Livius (Ire), was a seven-time winner between six furlongs and an extended mile. Millowitsch was bred by the farm's longstanding client Dr. Alexandra Renz and has covered a small number of mares owned by his breeder and by Röttgen.

“Millowitsch was born and raised at Röttgen so I have known him all his life,” Dorff explained. “He was a very tough racehorse and won five group races, and placed or won on 20 of his 21 starts at two, three, four and five. He was very tough and honest and for Germany he is an outcross for everyone. His sireline is a bit curious but they were all tough racehorses so this is a bit of an experiment for us. We are happy with what we have seen as they are very deep horses, compact, and good movers. In Germany we need some fast horses.”

Alongside the Millowitsch yearlings is the stallion's half-brother by another Röttgen resident Protectionist (Ger), who is offered for Renz as lot 83. Their dam Muriel (Ire) (Fath) was placed in the G3 Goldene Peitsche at Baden-Baden and has produced four black-type earners among her five winners.

Another first-crop sire with a sibling in the sale is Dschingis Secret (Ger), who was bred by Helmut von Finck at Gestüt Park Wiedingen and won six group races, including the G1 Grosser Preis von Berlin. His sole representative at BBAG has been withdrawn but his full-sister, a filly by Soldier Hollow (GB), who is also owned by von Finck, and out of Divya (Ger) (Platini {Ger}) is consigned as lot 180. Along with Dschingis Secret, who is now at Haras de Saint Arnoult in France, the filly is a full-sister to group winners Destino (Ger) and Deia (Ger) as well as the group-placed Diana Storm (Ger) and Dschingis First (Ger).

The sale will commence at 10am local time.

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