Ungaro holds the torch; Deutschland-Preis winner demonstrates Germany's increasing internationa l impact.
The record would surely have read better still but for the unfortunate injury to Lavirco, who looked an exceptional horse by any standard when he won the 1996 Deutsches Derby and was to have been campaigned in Group 1 company in France and Britain last season.
The latest German-bred to have distinguished himself outside his native country is Ungaro, who saw off four English-trained challengers, plus his highly-regarded 'adopted' compatriot Caitano (who was foaled in Britain and has American-born parents), when he landed the Group 1 Gran Premio di Milano at San Siro last month.
On Sunday, Ungaro was back at home, making every metre of the running and resisting the determined effort of the consistent three-year-old Tiger Hill (a son of Danehill) for his second Group 1 score in the Deutschland- Preis at Dusseldorf. The French-trained Gazelle Royale, who was second in the Epsom Oaks a year ago, finished a well-beaten fourth, a place behind Caitano.
Now Ungaro's trainer, Hans Blume, is targeting the Irish St Leger on September 19 in his bid for a hat-trick of top-level victories, and the colt's chance should not be dismissed lightly. Having already collected one St Leger-the Dortmund version last October-Ungaro has proved that he stays the distance, and the galloping course at The Curragh should suit him ideally.
He might even be counted unlucky not to have three Group 1 wins to his credit already, because it was only in the last stride that Single Empire deprived him of the Derby Italiano 14 months ago, at which time Ungaro was still a comparatively weak horse and an inexperienced one.
After Borgia's departure to join Andre Fabre, Ungaro has to be regarded as the best four-year-old trained in Germany. At two and three he was decidedly inferior to Caitano (and a few others as well), but he is a much-improved performer this season, having grown up physically and mentally over the winter.
He comes from the first crop of the well-bred but dreadfully named Goofalik, who took up residence at Gestut Brummerhof, near Hannover, in the spring of 1993 after a four-season career during which he raced in five countries, initially for the Wertheimers (who bred him) and latterly for Cheveley Park Stud owner David Thompson.
He was not seen at his best in his three ventures to England, a third in the Group 3 Criterion Stakes being the pick of those efforts. But at home in France he landed Group 3 wins in the Prix du Chemin de Fer du Nord and the Grand Prix de Vichy, in Germany he took the Group 2 Team Trophy in Frankfurt, and a couple of trips to the States yielded him third places in the Grade 2 Caesars International and the Grade 1 Washington DC International.
He won five races in all, between a mile and 10 furlongs, proving himself a tough and genuine competitor with a useful turn of foot.
That record, together with an impressive pedigree background-he is by Lyphard out of a Group 3 winner whose dam was a sister to the dam of Irish River-made him one of the more credible imports for stud duty in Germany at a time when proven foreign failures seemed to be flooding in.
IT CANNOT be said that Goofalik has set the Rhine on fire, but he has made a pretty creditable start. He ranked eighth on the German sires' list when his first crop were three-year-olds, with Ungaro as decidedly the best of 14 individual winners who collected 24 races between them.
However, like a lot of stallions closer to home, Goofalik suffered in his fourth stud season, when he attracted only 25 mares. Whereas his first three foal crops were all in the 30s, he has just 15 registered yearlings.
Breeders were no doubt anxious to see what his first runners would achieve; now, having seen the results, they should be giving a kick-start to his career.
Ungaro comes from a family that has been resident at Rottgen since long before the war. Its heyday came in the late 1950s, when Uomo won a Deutsches Derby, improving on the third place of his close relation Utrillo two years earlier.
Both were sons of Orator, and their dams were sisters. Uomo's sister Union is the third dam of Ungaro, tracing through Unwetter (a sister to the dam of three individual Group 3 winners) and the modest winner Ustina.
Ustina is a daughter of the Rottgen-bred Star Appeal, whose victories in the 1975 Gran Premio di Milano, Eclipse and Arc de Triomphe continue to qualify him for recognition as the best German horse on the international scene since the war.
Ungaro is Ustina's sixth foal and sixth winner; Upper Class, another who improved markedly from three to four, was the best of the rest.
UNGARO (b c, 17-4-1994)
Bred by Gestut Rottgen
Bred by Gerard & Alain Wertheimer. Won 5 (8-10f) of 22 races, viz. 0 out of 3 at 2 years, 2 out of 6 at 3 years, 2 (Prix du Chemin de Fer du Nord-Gr3, Frankfurter Team Trophy-Gr2) out of 7 at 4 years, 1 (Grand Prix de Vichy-Gr3) out of 6 at 5 years. Also placed in 7 other Pattern/Graded races, inc. Washington DC International-Gr 1. Earned Fr2,464,107. Timeform 114 at 3, 118 at 4, 116 at 5.
Smallish (15.312hh), strong, quite attractive. Effective at 7f+, never ran beyond 10f. Rather round-actioned, but acted on any ground. Tough, game and consistent. Well-bred, by a leading international sire out of a Gr3 winner. Grand-dam won Prix Penelope, sister to dam of Irish River.
Stands at Gestut Brummerhof, Hannover, Germany at a fee of DM8,000 (Oct 1). Sire of 3 crops of racing age, inc. notable winner: Ungaro (Gran Premio di Milano-Gr1, Deutschland-Preis-Gr1).
Bred by Gestut Rottgen. Won 2 (6-8f) of 15 races, viz. 1 out of 4 at 2 years, 1 out of 11 at 4 years. Also placed 8 times. Earned DM48,370. Just a useful performer, half-sister to several lesser winners. Dam smart winner of 2 races, sister to Unterwelt, winner and dam of Gr3 winners Uditore (c by Dschingis Khan), Une Amie (f by Acropolis) and Un Sprinter (c by Sparkler). From a good, though not recently outstanding, German family.
To stud at 4 and dam of: Unida (1989 f by Daun; winner), Usonio (1990 c by Windwurf; winner), Une Glorieuse (1991 f by Le Glorieux; winner), Uletta (1992 f by Esclavo; winner), Upper Class (1993 c by Konigsstuhl; Listed-placed winner), Ungaro (1994 c by Goofalik; dual Gr1 winner), Umbria (1995 f by Mondrian; placed), Universus (1996 c by Unfuwain; unraced), Ustimona (1997 f by Mondrian).
The best runner from his family in many years, and a good advertisement for his sire. Continental form suggests he may well prove competitive in Irish St Leger.
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|Publication:||The Racing Post (London, England)|
|Date:||Jul 30, 1998|
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