IDEE 154. Deutsches Derby (Group 1)

AFTER Jena Antonucci became the first woman to train a winner of an American Triple Crown race, having conditioned Arcangelo to victory in the 2023 Belmont Stakes, Fantastic Moon put in a spectacular performance on Sunday to credit trainer Sarah Steinberg with success in the Group 1 Deutsches Derby. The colt was emulating his sire Sea The Moon nine years on.

The field of 20 fanned out across the whole track in the straight on good to soft going and the Rene Piechulek mount was the one who came to the far rail and sprinted away in the final furlong in a manner similar to what his sire under Christophe Soumillon had done in 2014 when winning by 11 lengths.

The Jesssica Harrington-trained Pivotal Trigger had remained in the main bunch on the far side and finished sixth with Oisin Orr, nine lengths behind the winner. He was shaken up over two out, could not quicken, and weakened inside final furlong

Fantastic Moon had been restrained at the rear of the field when Rene Piechulek moved into top gear when the race appeared to be on the other side of the course, and they eventually came two and a quarter lengths ahead of Mr Hollywood and Weracruz.

Fantastic Moon has also already won the prestigious German two-year-old race, the Preis des Winterfavoriten, and the Group 3 Classic trial at Baden-Baden.

Sarah Steinberg had made a breakthrough in 2020, training the Group 2 Mehl-Mulhens-Rennen, German 2000 Guineas winner Fearless King and going on to gain her first Group 1 win with Mendocino in the Group 1 Grosser Preis von Baden, both ridden by Rene Piechulek.

Fantastic Moon now looks a cheap €49,000 purchase by Australians Liberty Racing from his breeders, Marion and Philipp Stauffenberg, at the BBAG September Yearling Sale.

It was the pinnacle of a great weekend for Lanwades sire Sea The Moon, as exciting three-year-old daughter Muskoka also landed the Group 3 Brummerhofer Stuten-Meile while Saturday’s Group 2 Grosser Hanser Preis was won by his four-year-old son Assistant who proved a length and a quarter too strong under Thore Hammer Hansen for Northern Ruler and the 2012 German Derby winner Sisfahan.

He is the second foal out of Stauffenberg homebred Frangipani, a winner in Germany by Princesss Zoe’s sire Jukebox Jury.

Further afield, the stallion was responsible for the Polish Derby winner, an Irish-bred Westminster Moon, owned by Westminster Race Horses and ridden by S. Abaev for trainer M. Janikowski.