/ Racing

Danedream believers flock to Baden-Baden

Updated: Friday, 31 Aug 2012 15:23 | Comments

The globe-trotting Danedream faces two very promising rivals in the shape of Pastorius and Novellist at Baden-Baden
The globe-trotting Danedream faces two very promising rivals in the shape of Pastorius and Novellist at Baden-Baden

Danedream faces seven opponents as she defends her crown in the Longines Grosser Preis Von Baden on Sunday.

Peter Schiergen's filly was a breathtaking winner of last season's Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe, and proved that was no fluke with a last-gasp victory over Nathaniel in a thrilling King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot.

The four-year-old is sticking to the same plan as 12 months ago, with Sunday's race set to be her final appearance before aiming for back-to-back Arc triumphs.

Schiergen said: "She is in good form and I have been happy with her work since the run in the King George. Everything has been perfect.

"We look forward to seeing her run in Germany again. It is a Group One race and not easy, but we look forward to seeing her run.

"This will be her last run before she goes back for the Arc."

While Danedream will undoubtedly be the hot favourite for the mile and a half Group One, it is unlikely to be a walk in the park for the brilliant filly.

The horse expected to give her most to think about is Mario Hofer's three-year-old colt Pastorius, who won the German Derby at Hamburg in early July and snared another Group One prize in Munich a few weeks later.

Danedream's jockey Andrasch Starke rode Pastorius to his latest victory and admits he will be a threat.

Starke said: "I rode Pastorius the last time he won over 2000 metres (10 furlongs). He sprinted away and won by eight lengths, which was very impressive.

"Maybe 2400 metres (a mile and a half) is not his best distance, I think 2000 is his best performance but he has the three-year-old allowance and is definitely a danger."

Starke is also concerned the race could turn into a sprint due to the lack of an obvious pacemaker.

"I'm worried that there is not a lot of pace in the race, it's a small field and they all sit behind, we have no front runner. That is our biggest danger. We don't want to make the running for the others. Our filly needs enormous pace to show her best," said the jockey.

"We gave her a break after the King George. She was a little tired but not as tired as when she came back from a long season and the Japan Cup. The last 10-14 days she has been very impressive.

"Honestly, she never gives you a great feel but she looks good. To be fair Nathaniel is a very good horse and there was just a nose between them at Ascot.

"I think she has improved since the King George and we cannot wait until the Arc as well."

Hofer is under no illusions about the task facing Pastorius and is just hoping to see his charge get into the money.

He said: "Our horse is in good form and good condition, but we know it is going to be very hard to beat Danedream.

"It is not often you see an Arc winner and a King George winner running in Germany, so it is difficult for us.

"My dream is not to win, my dream is just that our horse runs a good race. If he is second or third I will be very happy.

"We will see what happens on Sunday and then we can make future plans."

Schiergen's Girolamo, Energia Davos, Next Vision, Ovambo Queen, Temida and Novellist complete the final field, with William Buick travelling to ride the latter.

User contributions and/or comments do not, unless specifically stated, represent the views of RTÉ.ie or RTÉ.
Click here for Terms of use