DERBY WINNERS HEAD GROSSER PREIS FIELD
Written on 1/9/23 by Darren Thrussell – email@example.com
Regarded as the most prestigious race in Germany, Sunday’s Wettstar.de Grosser Preis von Baden at Baden-Baden has attracted a high class turnout of seven runners, with two German Derby winners among the field.
SISFAHAN landed the Group 1 race two years ago, and followed that up with an excellent second place finish in the 2021 renewal of this race, finding only subsequent Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe winner Torquator Tasso too good. After two midfield finishes in big money races in the Middle East at the start of this year, Sisfahan bounced back to form when runner up in last month’s Group 1 Grosser Preis von Berlin behind top French middle distance performer Simca Mille. The mount on Sunday of English jockey Jack Mitchell, Sisfahan looks set to go well again on Sunday.
However Sisfahan has to concede 3½ kilos to this year’s German Derby winner, FANTASTIC MOON, who found only top Godolphin colt Nations Pride too good in the Group 1 Grosser Dallmayr Preis at Munich last time out. Having won on his only previous outing at Baden-Baden in very impressive fashion when a 4½ length winner of a Group 3 contest in May, Fantastic Moon looks the one to beat here.
MR. HOLLYWOOD was second to Fantastic Moon in the German Derby, but faces older horses for the first time here, whilst STRAIGHT was back in fifteenth despite being well fancied for the race, and was last of eight at Deauville last time out.
KASSADA and QUANTANAMERA were second and fifth respectively in last month’s German Oaks at Düsseldorf, whilst the field is completed by the interesting French raider ZAGREY, a four year old grey colt who has shown huge improvement this year. Like Fantastic Moon, Zagrey also had to settle for second best behind Nations Pride when runner up in a Group 3 contest at Meydan in February, before returning to the Dubai track a month later, running an excellent race to finish third in the Group 1 Dubai Sheema Classic behind the world class Japanese horse Equinox, and coming home one place ahead of Mostahdaf, who has franked the form by winning two Group 1 races in the UK since. With top jockey Christophe Soumillion making the trip over to Baden-Baden, the Yann Barberot-trained Zagrey looks sure to go close on Sunday.
PREDICTION: FANTASTIC MOON – ZAGREY – SISFAHAN – MR HOLLYWOOD
The raceday starts at 10:15 am UK time / 11:15 CET, the Grosser Preis von Baden is due off at 2:20 pm UK time / 15:20 CET, and can be seen here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o_EYsLAbiE0
Photo: English jockey JACK MITCHELL, who rides 2021 German Derby winner SISFAHAN in Sunday’s Wettstar Grosser Preis von Baden at Baden-Baden (Photo copyright Stefanie Ihlenburg / Anglo German Racing).