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Bloodstock: German staying power on march; Samum's win in Deutsches Derby confirms promise of emerging sire Monsun.

ON numerous occasions in the last year or so, I have drawn attention to an emerging group of young sires in Germany, all of whom may make a mark on the wider European scene. In 1999, the dominant character was Niniski's son Lomitas, whose first crop included Derby and weight-for-age Group 1 victor Belenus, St Leger winner Silvano and highly regarded Group 2 scorer Sumitas, the runner-up to Dubai Millennium at Royal Ascot last month.

More recently, some of Lomitas's thunder has been stolen by a trio of horses who started their stud careers a year later-all notable middle-distance performers who raced until they were five.

Monsun, surprisingly, had 10 individual winners with his initial crop of two-year-olds, registering record earnings for a first-season sire.

His contemporaries Sternkonig and Lando, who both proved their racing mettle outside their native country, attracted attention abroad again in May when their respective sons Kallisto and Paolini ran first and third in the Derby Italiano.

If that result suggested that Monsun might have lost some ground to those rivals, Sunday's Deutsches Derby told a different tale.

Kallisto was one of four Sternkonigs, while Paolini featured in the brace by Lando who ran in the Hamburg Classic, but among the five-strong Monsun team were first and second in impressive winner Samum and his talented stablemate Subiaco.

Of course, the German race, contested only by home-trained horses, was inevitably overshadowed by the star-studded international confrontation on The Curragh a few minutes later.

But that is no reason to overlook a top-class display by a still unbeaten and progressive colt, already officially recognised as the best winner of the event for 15 years.

Samum was by no means the pick of Monsun's juveniles, as his Free Handicap mark of 86.5 placed him way behind Germany's two best fillies-Well Minded (92.5) and Sommernacht (90.5)-and a pair of smart colts in Leopardstown (91) and Borsato (90).

Even so, he did win both his races at that age, at Gelsenkirchen and Cologne, in exemplary style and, like his father before him, has made significant progress in his second season.

On his two starts this year before the Derby, Samum collected a Group 3 win at Krefeld and a Group 2 victory at Munich, and he was a strong favourite on Sunday to maintain his unbeaten record.

At this stage of his career Samum has an edge on Monsun, who was second in his Derby, dividing Lando and Sternkonig, and whose merits were not fully appreciated until he ran in weight-for-age company.

He wound up with three Group 1 wins to his name in a four-season career, establishing a reputation as a consistent and courageous, first-rate 12-furlong performer, who could go on any ground, but was particularly effective in soft.

Samum, who revelled in the wet conditions at Hamburg, looks a chip off the old block and, as he possesses ample scope for further improvement, he can be expected to emulate his sire again in competition with older horses.

GERMANY has imported quite a few stallions in recent years, including the first international Derby winner to have stood there in Winged Love.

The 1995 Curragh victor, a son of In The Wings, was responsible for Sunday's third, Acamani, from his first crop, so he has made a promising start, but for the locals Monsun's one-two triumph is inevitably the major cause for celebration.

Monsun combines the best of recent German breeding in his pedigree, as a son of one multiple champion sire, Konigsstuhl, with another in Surumu as his maternal grandsire.

Those mainstays of the industry both died in the 1990s, having sired winners of more than 100 Pattern races between them, and their effectiveness in combination was remarkable-six individual winners of 19 Pattern events by Konigsstuhl were out of Surumu mares, including Derby victors Pik Konig and Lavirco.

Pik Konig died young, but the triumphs for Schlenderhan's Monsun seem to augur well for its great rival Fahrhof's Lavirco, whose first progeny reach the racecourse this year.

Lavirco, though deprived by injury of the opportunity to race as a four-year-old, was a more highly rated runner than Monsun, and he will be another to whom German breeders can look with confidence for the production of genuine mile-and-a-half horses.

All but one of Germany's Group 1 races are contested over 12 furlongs-the other is at 10-so the emphasis on stamina is more marked than elsewhere in Europe.

SAMUM even carries some imported staying power in the distaff part of his pedigree, being out of a daughter of the stout, relentless galloper Old Vic.

Winner of the Chantilly and Curragh Derbys in 1989, Old Vic is by Sadler's Wells, winner of the Irish 2,000 Guineas, out of a sister to Newmarket 2,000 Guineas hero High Top, a background which might not automatically suggest stamina.

But as a sire, High Top frequently transmitted the staying qualities associated with his maternal grandsire Vimy, while the stock of Sadler's Wells invariably want more than a mile unless they get speed from their dams.

Samum's dam did not race, but her dam Brave Lass was a fast and precocious youngster, who won four sprints from five starts as a two-year-old for Jim Joel and Tom Waugh in 1976.

As injury limited her second season to a single outing, it is impossible to know what the limit of her stamina was, but she raced as though a mile ought to have suited her-as it did her dam Bravour, winner of Germany's 1,000 Guineas, then known as the Schwarzgold Rennen.

Bravour stayed well enough to finish third in the Oaks equivalent (11 furlongs). Her connections in tail-female with several winners of continental Derby and St Leger winners confirm the family as essentially stamina-based.

It is necessary to go back to 1918 for this family's last notable impact in England, when Samum's eighth dam Stony Ford was disqualified after finishing first in the Oaks.

PEDIGREE ASSESSMENT

SIRE: MONSUN

Bred by Gestut Isarland. DM90,000 Baden-Baden yearling. Won 12 (8-12f) of 23 starts, viz. 2 out of 4 at 2 years, 6 (inc. Grosser Preis der Steigenberger Hotels-Gr3, Grosser Hertie Preis-Gr2, Aral Pokal-Gr1, Preis von Europa-Gr1) out of 8 at 3 years, 2 (Gerling Preis-Gr2, Preis von Europa-Gr1) out of 7 at 4 years, 2 (Gerling Preis-Gr2, Grosser Hansa Preis-Gr2) out of 4 at 5 years. Timeform 124 at 3, 122 at 4, 119 at 5. Earned DM2,088,594 (about pounds 690,000).

Strong, 16.1hh, attractive individual. High-class middle-distance performer, effective on top of the ground, but especially proficient on rain-affected surface. Habitually raced close to the pace. Very genuine and consistent.

Well-bred. A leading product of highly successful cross of Konigsstuhl on Surumu, both multiple champion sires. Out of a Listed winner who was half-sister to 2 other Listed winners. Family of champion filly Majoritat, herself grand-dam of recent Gr3 winner Moonlady.

Stands at Gestut Schlenderhan at a fee of DM15,000 (Oct 1). Sire of 2 crops of racing age, inc. notable winners: Network (Gr2), Samum (Deutsches Derby-Gr1), Subiaco (Gr3).

DAM: SACARINA

Bred by B Freiha. Unraced. By a dual Derby winner who has disappointed at stud. Half-sister to Gr2-placed Brave Owen and Gr3-placed Lady Member and to 4 lesser winners. Dam smart and precocious 2-y-o winner in England, half-sister to stakes winners in Italy and Malaysia.

Grand-dam unbeaten top 2-y-o filly in Germany, won German 1,000 Guineas, 3rd in German Oaks, half-sister to dual Classic-winning filly Brisanz. Family responsible for several other Classic winners in Germany, Austria and Hungary.

To stud at 4 and dam of: Samum (1997 c by Monsun; Classic winner), Sandino (1998 c by Platini; unraced to date). Her yearling is Salve Regina, a full-sister to Samum.

CONCLUSION

Evidently top-class performer, probably capable of holding his own among Europe's best at 12f.
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Title Annotation:Sports
Author:Morris, Tony
Publication:The Racing Post (London, England)
Date:Jul 4, 2000
Words:1307
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