Sunday, 5 July 2009

German Derby - Before And After

The biggest news from Europe this weekend may be Sea The Stars’ victory in yesterday’s Eclipse Stakes at Sandown, but with the start of the 2009 Deutsches Derby at Hamburg less than an hour away, let’s get to that point.


For the second time this year I drove through half the city just to find that those newsstands that usually sell the Sport-Welt (Germany’s DRF) were sold out. While last time I was fortunate enough to finally discover a hidden exemplar somewhere beneath another stack, this time I went home empty-handed.
So there seems to be a bit of excitement in racing circles. That German racing adds some new fans is unlikely though, as the race isn’t broadcast until 11 PM, and then only on a regional channel (there is the Equi8 livestream of course, but to the broader public the race is lost). It’s not helpful that the Sport-Welt doesn’t even have a website, nor is there any other site to get German race forms from, so ultimately I could only have handicapped based on those extremely sketchy forms my ADW’s offer, and that’s not something I like to do.

Therefor, let’s just say it’s a pretty wide-open field, with Wiener Walzer, Oriental Lion and Panyu (the 1-2-3 finishers of the G2 Union-Rennen), Suestado (impressive winner of the Listed Derby Trial at Hanover), G3 Bavarian Classic winner Saphir and G2 Diana Trial runner-up Bolivia (who was supplemented for 50K) the obvious candidates. Of those, Suestado may well be the best, but he's also the chalk at 52/10 (that's 4/1 American). Update: He was eventually bet down to 39/10, which I think would show up as 5/2 on American ADWs.

With my sketchy info though, I’ll confine myself to a couple of small longshot bets on Ordenstreuer, who finished a good second in the Dresden Trial. That race was predictably several furlongs too short for him, but his late movement was nice, and for 60/1 (betfair, currently 32/1 on the Tote), he looks worth the shot.

In the sire category, Monsun leads the way with 3 of his progeny entered. Tiger Hill, Nayef and Seattle Dancer all have two starters in the field of 17.


With 100 yards to go, right after he declared the winner, the announcer’s mic took a temporary break. Or at least that’s what he claims. Sounded a bit like he just had trouble identifying the group of three battling for second place. If so, no reason to be tough on the guy.

Wiener Walzer (by Dynaformer), the second favorite at 46/10 and winner of the most important Derby Trial, won, but that’s as far as it goes in the “logical result” column.

Sordino (296/10; by Samum) finished second in his fourth lifetime start, showing off some well-hidden talent (you see, that’s what good past performance sheets and replays are for, if only we had them in German racing).

Toughness Danon (179/10; by Tiger Hill) finished third, and thus exactly one position worse than in all of his previous three starts, where he was soundly beaten by two horses he distanced today.

One horse he did finish ahead of however was today’s fourth-place finisher Eliot (137/10, also by Tiger Hill), who in his three lifetime starts (recurring theme!) had never finished better than 2nd and had been beaten by no less than four horses he outran today (to be fair, his forms were a little screwball-y, and in the Union-Rennen he was fifth but beaten only 2 ½ lengths by the winner).

Ordenstreuer, btw, finished a good sixth under the guidance of Dresden’s local boy Alexander Pietsch. He wasn't beaten by much, but may have been in a little over his head here. Still, he's definitely a nice and honest racehorse and should make his way in slightly lesser company.

Besides the winner, none of the favorites showed up. Suestado (39/10, by Monsun) finished 14th, thus never quite entering the internal duel, and leaving his owner Georg Baron von Ullmann only the small consolation of also being the owner of Gestüt Schlenderhan, which in turn is the owner of Wiener Walzer.

Deutsches Derby 2009 (with a couple of glitches, but at least it's available at all)


  1. Sorry for that mixup with the deleted article. I accidentally made the Youtube video a new post, rather than embed it in the existing one.

    Hope that doesn't happen again, but I'm not 100% sure I understand the process even now (90%, maybe).

  2. good to see the race