THE form of the top German races this year looks solid.
Just recently Torquator Tasso finished an excellent second in the King George at Ascot, and there was a first ever German victory at Glorious Goodwood when Rocchigiani, earlier runner-up in the German 2000 Guineas, won a Group 3 race.
A further boost for German racing came last Sunday at Munich when Sammarco, narrow winner of the Deutsches Derby a month ago, was a game winner of the Group 1 Grosser Dallmayr-Preis, Germany’s top 10-furlong event.
There is normally only three weeks between the German Derby and the Munich race, so three-year-olds who run at Hamburg rarely run in the Bavarian race, but there was a four-week gap this time.
Sammarco was one of two Derby runners to reappear at Munich, the other being Queroyal, who had finished ninth at Hamburg, but beaten by less than three lengths.
It was Queroyal who made the early running on Sunday, but at a very sedate pace, with Amazing Grace a close second and Sammarco in third on the inside.
The order remained unchanged into the straight where the pace quickly picked up and Amazing Grace went on. Sammarco was briefly stuck in a pocket but jockey Rene Piechulek was able to switch him to the outside where he ran on strongly to collar Amazing Grace inside the final furlong and score by three-parts of a length.
The Aga Khan’s Ebairya, who had started clear favourite at 6/5, finished well for third, but never looked like winning. Queroyal kept on for fourth, beaten by a total of two lengths, almost exactly reproducing his Derby form.
This was undeniably a strong performance by Sammarco, who had had a very hard race in the Derby and had earlier won the Union-Rennen, also in a photo-finish, after a real fight.
He is quite a small horse and would rarely be the pick of the paddock, but he is obviously very game and tough and is equipped with a strong will to win, very desirable qualities.
Trainer Peter Schiergen said afterwards: “We debated for a long time whether to run him here, but it is important for his later stallion career that he is able to score over this distance. However, he is likely to go back to running over a mile and a half from now on.”
His next race is almost certainly to be the Grosser Preis von Baden over that trip in early September, in which he will probably meet Torquator Tasso. That should be a race worth watching.