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Amicelli!

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  • #7094
    AngloGerman
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    • Total Posts 602

    I’m sure everyone has their own favourite moments from this years Festival, and I’m certain it won’t come as a surprise to find out what mine was!!!

    In May 2002, I made the relatively short trip from my home in Stuttgart to Baden Baden for the Spring Meeting. Racing that day was a horse trained in the tiny south west German town of Hassloch by a practially unknown trainer. This horse had shot to prominence when winning a decent maiden at Frankfurt, and was even touted as a German Derby possible. At Baden-Baden, I remember him looking beaten two out, but he battled back to win in a photo.

    I returned to the UK shortly after that, and kind of lost touch with the German racing scene. However, a few years ago, I was in a bookmakers watch a race at (I think) Newton Abbot and I heard the commentator ‘And Amicelli leads approaching the next’. Hang on….did he say ‘Amicelli’??? That’s the horse I saw at Baden-Baden. It can’t be…can it??? Yes it was!! I backed him regularly when he ran for Philip Hobbs, but I’d not heard anything for a while, and assumed he’d been retired.

    When I saw his name in the declarations for the Foxhunters, I was gobsmacked. I know nothing at all about the hunting/point to point scene, so I had a word with point to pont guru Graysonscolumn who told me a bit more about the horse, and about the pointing scene (thank you Jeremy!!).

    Yes, I did back him today. But it was a ‘heart rules the head’ decision. I know nothing about the trainer and jockey (I’ve heard of Tom Greenall, but not O Greenall), but they’ve done a wonderful job with Amicelli today.

    From Hassloch….to the Cheltenham Foxhunters!! Who would believe it!!!

    Darren – AngloGerman

    #151231
    carvillshill
    Participant
    • Total Posts 2778

    Great story Darren!

    #151232
    graysonscolumn
    Participant
    • Total Posts 6965

    From Hassloch….to the Cheltenham Foxhunters!!

    Who are you calling a Hassloch, Darren?

    Oh right, I get you. 8)

    I’m glad to have been of some assistance, and I did actually have a sense that you’d be screaming the brute across the line almost as much as I was.

    (NB you were actually probably screaming more, as my mellifluous, honeyed tones never deteriorate to screams, even if urging on a winner. I also sh*t petals, you know. 8) )

    This is rapidly turning into a season to remember for Oliver Greenall, clear at the top of the point-to-point riders’ championship for men and now a Festival winner as well. Yorkshire-based winners of that championship have been real rarities in recent years, so I’d rate it a major achievement if he holds on – I’d suggest he’d better start finding out where the likes of Trecoed, Bratton Down and Umberleigh are in case a few long trips are required come June!

    Jeremy
    (graysonscolumn)

    The patron saint of lower-grade fare. A gently critical friend of point-to-pointing. Kindness is a political act.

    #151247
    AngloGerman
    Member
    • Total Posts 602

    I’m glad to have been of some assistance, and I did actually have a sense that you’d be screaming the brute across the line almost as much as I was.

    (NB you were actually probably screaming more)

    Actually, I was screaming up until the last fence – and once he jumped that, I was in tears. Yes, I tend to wear my heart on my sleeve, but this was really a moment to remember. But there is also another reason.

    Our syndicate, the Galopp Club Deutschland, leased two horses last year. One was Sworn Mum, and the owners and breeders were really good to us, leasing us such a good horse. The owners and breeders were the Brummerhof Stud, and Gregor Baum, the stud leader, was also a special guest at some of our functions last year, and is a really nice guy, very knowledgeable about the sport, and even arranged a visit for GCD members to the stud back in September.

    And yes, you’ve guessed it….Baum and Brummerhof bred Amicelli!!!

    Darren – AngloGerman

    #151255
    Gingertipster
    Participant
    • Total Posts 27766

    Wonderful story Darren, sure anyone in your shoes would have had a tear in their eye.

    The year I really got in to racing was 1985, think I remember both Slip Anchor and Oh So Sharp had German ancestors. Think most German breds seem to have bags of stamina, ideal for the Foxhunter.
    Though is’nt Well Chief German bred?

    Ginge

    value is everything
    #151306
    AngloGerman
    Member
    • Total Posts 602

    Though is’nt Well Chief German bred?

    Yes, he was bred at the Norina stud, and he actually had Group form on the flat in Germany. There’s often been a thing about German horses being stoutly bred and for stamina, but in the last few years, more German horses are being bred with a real turn of foot – take Shirocco and Manduro on the flat for example. The racing calendar in Germany is geared towards middle distance of the flat – most of the group 1 races are over 10-12 furlongs (no group 1 races over less than a mile from what I can remember). All of Amicellis wins were over 10 furlongs, and rather interestingly (something I didn’t know beforehand), all four wins were on left handed courses! However, his jumps wins seem to be half and half left and right handed.

    Darren – AngloGerman

    #151950
    carvillshill
    Participant
    • Total Posts 2778

    You never bloody mentioned him on here in the last few weeks Jeremy! I wouldn’t have stolen your price……

    BTW do you know if English hunters are allowed to contest our hunter chases here in Ireland (can’t imagine why not). If so, his connections should be encouraged to travel for Punchestown- he’d be hard to beat.

    #151991
    graysonscolumn
    Participant
    • Total Posts 6965

    You never bloody mentioned him on here in the last few weeks Jeremy! I wouldn’t have stolen your price……

    I tend to forget what I’ve mentioned where in the hullabaloo of the pre-Festival preps, etc. However, I did mention him on TRF a couple of hours before the “orf”;

    https://theracingforum.co.uk/forum/viewtopic.php?p=153533#153533

    …and also in a piece I did on Betfair Radio on Monday teatime, and a couple of times in the chatroom in between.

    BTW do you know if English hunters are allowed to contest our hunter chases here in Ireland (can’t imagine why not). If so, his connections should be encouraged to travel for Punchestown- he’d be hard to beat.

    I confess that I haven’t a clue! I can’t think of any recent precedents on which to base an answer. Ancedotally, though, whilst the Coward / Easterby team could almost certainly manage the logistics of popping across to Punchestown for a pop at the prize there, by that stage it might constitute an unwelcome distraction if the yard is still actively pushing to help Oliver Greenall secure the men’s point-to-point championship (which I think he still leads at the time of writing).

    Jeremy
    (graysonscolumn)

    The patron saint of lower-grade fare. A gently critical friend of point-to-pointing. Kindness is a political act.

    #159855
    graysonscolumn
    Participant
    • Total Posts 6965

    Amicelli fans may be interested to note that he is entered in the Mens’ Open at the Guilsborough point-to-point meeting tomorrow afternoon. This big, galloping, popular, proper racetrack is hardly on its uppers as it is, but the likely presence of the Foxhunters winner would be an even bigger pull for the venue.

    Ten miles northwest of Northampton, take junction 15 off the M1, thanks for asking. :D I’ll be the one with the waterproof clipboard and numerous layers of black, frantically flitting between the bookies’ pitches and commentary box (if there is one!) all afternoon…

    gc

    The patron saint of lower-grade fare. A gently critical friend of point-to-pointing. Kindness is a political act.

    #159874
    AngloGerman
    Member
    • Total Posts 602

    Thanks for that Jeremy. Unfortunately, I’m at Sandown where Fiepes Shuffle is running, and as Christian might not get there in time (he’s got a runner in Belgium earlier tomorrow), I’ve got to be there, and to be honest, I wouldn’t miss it for the world. If however Fiepes wasn’t running, I would have gone to my first ever point to point!! If you could let me know how Amicelli gets on, that would be great.

    Darren – AngloGerman

    #159934
    graysonscolumn
    Participant
    • Total Posts 6965

    Be assured one of us will, Darren! I think Happy Jack will be there for part of the meeting as well, so the champ’s performance will not go unmonitored one way or another.

    gc

    The patron saint of lower-grade fare. A gently critical friend of point-to-pointing. Kindness is a political act.

    #160129
    rory
    Participant
    • Total Posts 2685

    Cracking run by Fiepes Shuffle btw ~ a great sight and really got them on the stretch.

    #160157
    AngloGerman
    Member
    • Total Posts 602

    Thanks for that Rory. As Christian had been collared by Alice Plunkett in the pre parade ring before the race, I was in the main parade ring giving Jamie the riding orders, and knowing how Fiepes likes to run, I said to him to be about 10 lengths clear after the second, and hopefully 15 lengths halfway and see if anything can get to him. Fact is, Fiepes does as Fiepes wants – there’s no point trying to hold him back, you just let him get on with it – if anyone saw him in the parade ring, you could see he really wanted to get on with it, and Angela had her hands full with him. I was a bit nervous as this was his first time over British fences but we had him schooled on Tuesday and Thursday over British style fences, and he jumped them really well. The ground wasn’t an issue either as he won a Group 3 Hurdle on firm in Milan.

    Having seen the race over (and over and over!!) again, it was great to see him going down the back straight taking those fences in his stride. OK, he did hit a couple of them during the race, but he did that at Mannheim last month. However those fences are softer than Sandown, and I was a bit worried how he would react if he clobbered one of two of them, but Jamie said he only caught the top of a couple and it didn’t really break his stride. However, going at such speed, Jamie said afterwards that it’s a good job that Fiepes can jump, or he wouldn’t stand a chance.

    Overall, we were really happy with him, and we now know we’ve got a horse that can mix it just below top class in England. We’re not quite in the Master Minded class, but this won’t be the last time you’ll see Fiepes in England. 2 miles chases at places like Kempton, Sandown and Ascot will be on the agenda.

    Darren – AngloGerman

    #160159
    seabird
    Participant
    • Total Posts 2924

    I thought it was an exhilarating performance, Darren, and all concerned can be well proud of him.

    Colin

    #160176
    AngloGerman
    Member
    • Total Posts 602

    Thanks Colin. Christian is a bit busy today (10 runners at 3 courses!!), but he’s going to tell me tonight or tomorrow how well Fiepes is – he was of course a bit tired after the race, but he had a nice hose down and plenty of water afterwards, and he seems fully recovered (that’s Fiepes, not Christian!!!).

    There are probably no more than 20 steeplechases in Germany this season, and the richest of these would be worth about 20,000 Euros (about £16,500) in total prize money. There’s actually a Listed steeplechase in Mannheim today (we have Helmac running), but despite its status, the total prize money is just 15,000 Euros. That basically leaves us with three places to run Fiepes – Italy, France or the UK.

    It’s a well known fact that we tend to target the smaller races and racecourses in the UK – Huntingdon, Market Rasen, Fontwell, Plumpton and Towcester are the sort of places you would usually see us, and more often than not with novice hurdlers, so yesterday was a massive day for us, and really out of our comfort zone, and Fiepes really did us proud, especially as it was his FIRST time over English fences. I actually had a couple of journalists approch me for a quote yesterday, and I basically said that it was ‘a great day for German steeplechasing’. We’ve proved that we’ve got a steeplechaser who can really mix it in England now – and we look forward to walking off with some of Englands top 2 mile prizes in the future!!!! :D

    Darren – AngloGerman

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