Saturday, 13 June 2009

Still Sitting Empty, But...

(Panoramio image by Helmut Fischer)

We’re finally there. Dresden Racecourse’s greatest weekend of the year has arrived, and so have Dresden’s two Listed events of the the season.

Saturday’s feature is the 20.000€ Freiberger-Premium-Preis, historically known as the Preis der Dreijährigen, a Derby prep over 2000m. The relatively high prestige of this race is based mainly on producing back-to-back Derby winners in 1994's Laroche and 1995's ill-fated supertalent All My Dreams. The latter was the last Derby winner to prep at Dresden, although Derby runner-up’s Night Tango (2005) and Dickens (2006) came awfully close.

Of this year’s starters, only the unbeaten Navajo Dancer could be on somebody’s Derby shortlist, but it’s a fine field anyway. There’s no one who has won anything of real importance yet, but there are two or three very promising stayers who are just one or two steps away from entering the Derby picture. After all, that’s what you want to see in a 2000m Listed event for 3yo’s at this time of year.

What you wish for in a 2000m Listed race for older horses are starters who have been reasonably close in Group races, or who have proven competitive on this level before. The Sachsen Preis, Sunday’s 20K feature, far exceeds that standard. 4yo filly Goathemala starts for the first time this year, she won the G3 Frankfurter Stutenpreis last time out. Other season debutants are Schützenjunker (who is extremely inconsistent, but hasn’t earned 130K in eight lifetime starts for nothing) and Andre Fabre transfer El Comodin, who finished on the board in a French 52K Listed race on his last attempt. El Comodin was bred in Ireland, but is by German-bred champion sire Monsun and out of German-bred three-time G1-winning mare Elle Danzig (by Roi Danzig), which makes his current record of a won Listed race at Chantilly and a fourth-place finish in the G2 Prix Guillaume d’Ornano at Deauville almost disappointing. More International color is added by Classical Word (by El Prado), one of the top Danish horses in training (admittedly that doesn’t take very much).

N.B.: You gotta love this lifetime record for 13yo gelding Aladan (by Danehill, no less) heading into Saturday’s 3rd:
143 (12-10-13)

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