This Side Up: A Game of Accident and Design

We can harness Thoroughbreds to our best and worst, to our altruism or avarice--but thankfully we will never alter the essential, inherent wonder of the breed, nor maintain the illusion that we are ever truly in control of its destiny. There's a genuine possibility, this weekend, that a German colt could elevate himself to the top of the global sophomore crop by winning the G1 Japan Cup. Yet Tünnes (Ger) (Guiliani {Ire}) was a wholly inadvertent acquisition at the Baden-Baden yearling sales, his purchaser having dropped out at €20,000 only...

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Home Team Face Sneaky Euro Challenge in Japan Cup

In the first 11 runnings of the G1 Longines Japan Cup, foreign raiders were successful no fewer than nine times, with winners from America, Australia, France, Ireland and New Zealand. But not since Alkaased (Kingmambo) defeated Heart's Cry (Jpn) (Sunday Silence) in 2005 for Frankie Dettori and Luca Cumani has any overseas-based galloper managed to land a winning blow. The locals will be favoured to take that current streak to 17 when a full field loads the gate at Tokyo Sunday afternoon, but Europe has strength in numbers--and class--to make...

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Seven Days: Bahrain's Burgeoning Success

It has been another banner week for the breeze-up sector, not to mention the burgeoning Bahraini participation in European racing.  Following Classic victories for Cachet (Ire), Native Trail (GB) and Eldar Eldarov (GB), more graduates of the two-year-old sales scene lifted one of last weekend's major races in Britain, the G2 Mill Reef Stakes, and also the G3 Stockholm Cup.  Sakheer (Ire) (Zoffany {Ire}) was imperious in the Mill Reef, and was the standout in a magnificent seven winners on Saturday for Roger Varian, which also included landing a Group...

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Stellar German Families in the Spotlight at BBAG

BADEN-BADEN, Germany--There has been much for German racing and breeding to celebrate since its premier yearling sale of 12 months ago. That same weekend, Torquator Tasso (Ger), a graduate of the 2018 sale, landed the G1 Grosser Preis von Baden just across the road from the auction house before going on to his memorable victory in the G1 Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe. A reminder, if one were needed, that German bloodlines can mix it with the very best in the world, as also exemplified recently by the GI Beverly...

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'It's Absolutely Like a Film': Paul Vandeberg on Breeding Torquator Tasso

"I can't say I'm not fine because I'm such a lucky man in the last two years with my hobby of breeding horses. It's not a normal position to be in." So says Paul Vandeberg, breeder not only of the reigning Arc hero Torquator Tasso (Ger) (Adlerflug {Ger}) but also of Tünnes (Ger) (Guiliani {Ire}), who as a 2-year-old last season won the G3 Herzog von Ratibor-Rennen. The colts are half-brothers and, remarkably, their dam Tijuana (Ger) (Toylsome {GB}) is the only mare owned by the Dutch breeder. It is...

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Seven Set For German Finale

In the absence of lone filly Nastaria (GB) (Outstrip {GB}), seven colts will head postward for Sunday's Grosser Preis der Wohnstatte Krefeld Herzog von Ratibor-Rennen at Krefeld, Germany's final pattern race of the year and won last year by subsequent G2 German 2000 Guineas hero Mythico (Fr) (Adlerflug {Ger}). Holger Renz's Tunnes (Ger) (Guiliani {Ire}) went straight to the top of ante-post lists for next term's G1 Deutsches Derby in the aftermath of a three-length victory at Cologne last month and the €38,000 BBAG yearling is a half-brother to MG1SW...

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