Germany: Iquitos strikes in Grosser Preis von Baden
Marco Botti: out of luck with Dylan Mouth
PICTURE: Edward Whitaker (racingpost.com/photos) Iquitos swoops from last to first for Ferguson
By David Conolly-Smith 5:06PM 4 SEP 2016
Report: Germany, Sunday
Baden-Baden: 144th Longines – Grosser Preis von Baden (Group 1) 1m4f, 3yo+
IQUITOS (Hans-Jürgen Gröschel/Ian Ferguson) scored an emphatic victory in Germany's most prestigious race, coming from last with a tremendous burst of speed to win by two and three quarters lengths from Nightflower, who was also runner-up in the race last year.
Iquitos had already won the main feature at Baden-Baden's spring meeting, but he topped that feat and in the process gave his trainer, 73-year-old Gröschel, and jockey, Scottish-born 45-year-old Ferguson, their first ever Group 1 successes.
As expected Wasir went off in front, setting a good pace under the circumstances – the race was run in a downpour – with Marco Botti's Dylan Mouth chasing him, and favourite Serienholde in third with the field well strung out.
Wasir still led into the straight, but tired, and soon Dylan Mouth and Serienholde were also struggling. Nightflower looked the likely winner as she swept into the lead, but Iquitos was flying from off the pace.
Gröschel said: "I always like to train horses to finish well from the rear, and Iquitos had his ideal conditions today; a really strong pace so that he could be switched off and then show his finishing speed to best advantage.
"There are two more similar races in Germany this year, the Preis von Europa at Cologne and the Grosser Preis von Bayern in Munich on November 1st and Iquitos could well run in both."
Ferguson added: "I knew what a turn of foot this horse has, and I was happy to stay at the back. When the front-runners dropped back, Andrasch (Starke, riding Nightflower) went on and he gave me the perfect target to aim at."
Marco Botti was at a loss to explain the showing of Dylan Mouth, who dropped out to finish seventh. He said: "I was hopeful of a good run, but he did not show what he is capable of today. He seems to run his best races in Italy, so we might go next for the Gran Premio del Jockey Club."
Also on Sunday
Baden-Baden: 143rd Steinhoff Zukunftsrennen (Group 3) 7f, 2yo
Mark Johnston had high hopes for his filly Miss Infinity, but after taking the lead almost two furlongs out, she was run out of it in the final furlong by Navarra King (Peter Schiergen/ Andrasch Starke), who won going away by a length and a quarter.
"I'm a bit disappointed," admitted Johnston, "as we were hoping to win this, but she ran a good race and just found one better."
Jockey Joe Fanning agreed, and added: "She ran a good race, but the winner was better today."
Schiergen said of Navarra King: "We always thought he was decent and he will be even better next year."
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