Andreas Wöhler won a Group 1 in Italy as well as a Group 2 in GermanyPICTURE: Getty Images
Novellist caps wonderful weekend for Wöhler
Report: Germany, Sunday
Cologne: 177th Oppenheim-Union-Rennen (Group 2) 1m3f, turf, 3yo
TOP German trainer Andreas Wöhler capped a wonderful Sunday by saddling his latest star Novellist to run out a convincing winner of Germany's premier Derby trial, the Union-Rennen at Cologne.
He also took the main supporting feature, a Listed race over 1m6f with the ex-Clive Cox trained Slight Advantage, while he sent Earl of Tinsdal to Italy for an easy success in the Group 1 Gran Premio di Milano.
At Cologne Novellist, a son of Monsun, was the centre of attention and maintained his unbeaten record. Quoted 3-1 favourite for the German Derby before the race, he now looks likely to start the hottest favourite in many years for the Hamburg Classic.
He was backed into 1-5, and while his supporters may have been worried for the first 7f as he raced towards the rear of the field off a very steady pace, their worries soon dissolved in the straight as jockey Eduardo Pedroza brought him between horses 2f out and Novellist quickened like a smart performer to put daylight between himself and his pursuers.
This was a most convincing performance, easily the best by a German three-year-old this year, and barring a surprise supplementary entry from abroad, it is hard to see what can trouble him at Hamburg.
Wöhler said afterwards: "We were very confident beforehand as he has been working well and we know that he is really smart horse. He obviously goes for the Derby next, and then we shall see. My other runner Andolini, who finished sixth, needs softer ground and a stronger pace."
Freddie Tylicki made the running on Munic Boy and he kept on well to take second place, five lengths behind the favourite. Trainer Manfred Hofer was delighted, saying: "That worked out perfectly and Freddie will ride him again at Hamburg."
Tylicki added: "The winner was in a different league."
Disappointment of the race was Mano Diao, trained by Manfred's brother Mario, who started second favourite and finished fifth. Jockey Olivier Peslier said that he was going well two out on the outside and then "hit a brick wall."
Earlier Sir Mark Prescott's well-bred filly All My Heart could only finish fourth of five in the Listed Silbernes Band. Jockey Luke Morris reported that "the ground was much too lively."