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Danedream and Novellist keep Germany in racing spotlight

By Francesca Cumani

They say that delightful spa town of Baden-Baden in south west Germany is just so good that you have to say its name twice.

With its tree-lined avenues, beautiful canal and breathtaking gardens, it’s hard to disagree. In the mid-19th century the town became a favorite among the rich and famous as a holiday destination. They came for the spas, for the uber-elegant casino, the opulent hotels and, of course, the horse racing.

It feels like a place that has resisted the passage of time and still proudly clings to its tradition.

So perhaps not surprisingly, it attracts a slightly older crowd. At the Grand Prix Ball held at the world-famous Kurhaus Casino, it was a feast for the eyes taking in the extravagant, if a little dated fashions and the dancing identikit debutantes. The scene at the racecourse was not dissimilar, and while the attendance was good it does not compare with the likes of Royal Ascot and the Melbourne Cup.

One of our three Winning Post features from this trip focused on the resurgence of the German horse racing industry.

When I was here last year, the consensus was that German racing needed a lift because prize money was dwindling and the number of foals born each year was ever decreasing.Horse Racing Novellist

At the time it was the wonder mare Danedream who provided that lift, having won the Grosser Preis von Baden twice and taken the King George at Ascot and the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe (arguably the best race in the world).

One year on and it is the turn of Novellist to put German racing in the spotlight. He has already won the same King George, the Grosser Preis von Baden and is a worthy favorite for next month’s Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe.

For a country that produces on average only 860 foals per year to have come up with those two horses is a major feat.

 

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