Danedream: Arc winner goes down a storm as she wins last German racePICTURE: Getty Images
Danedream delights her fans with Baden win
Report: Germany, Sunday
Baden-Baden: Logines - Grosser Preis Von Baden (Group 1) 1m 4f, 3yo+
KING GEORGE winner Danedream waved goodbye to Germany on Sunday with a decisive victory in the Grosser Preis von Baden to remind potential rivals that she will be a tough nut to crack when she defends her Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe crown next month.
Bookmakers, however, issued only a lukewarm response, and Germany's superstar filly remains on the 6-1 mark for Longchamp after a gutsy performance to land a second victory in her country's most prestigious race. "Our plan is to go to Paris," said part-owner Heiko Volz, a locally-based furniture retailer with only five horses in training. "We never had a Plan B!"
Although Danedream scored by only a half-length from Group 2 winner Ovambo Queen, her superiority was clear as she also held at bay Germany's best three-year-olds, including the Deutsches Derby 1-2-3. Third-placed Pastorius, the Derby winner, may now take on Frankel in the Qipco Champion Stakes.
Sent off 7-10 favourite, Danedream was settled in third of the seven runners by Andrasch Starke, not far off an unexpectedly tepid gallop set by Next Vision, supposedly taking the role of pacemaker for Derby runner-up Novellist.
Starke sent Danedream across to the stands rail as they turned for home in what was the race-winning move as she kicked a couple of lengths ahead. Though she was challenged hard by both the placed horses, she needed only to be kept up to her work to score.
Trainer Peter Schiergen admitted he had been concerned by the lack of early pace. "It was very exciting because the pacemaker didn't do his job properly and she is better coming off a strong pace," he said. "But I knew early in the straight that she would win because she was travelling so easily.
"Andrasch did the right thing in keeping her close up to the pace and she showed great will to win. She doesn't let anybody pass her when she is leading. Our original plan was the Arc and the Japan Cup and that is still the plan."
Danedream was accorded a tremendous welcome after her final start on home soil, with Starke high-fiving members of the crowd on his way in to unsaddle. "It's incredible what she has achieved so far," said the jockey. "She just keeps on fighting for me. She is something really special."
Ovambo Queen is now likely to go on her travels, with either the Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf or Japan's Queen Elizabeth II Cup on the agenda. Pastorius, another half-length behind her in third, is set for a crack at Frankel. "It will be our last chance to see Frankel so we'd like to be there at Ascot," said trainer Mario Hofer. "But I don't say we'll be there to beat Frankel, only to see Frankel! There's nothing to lose and we can try to finish second."
William Buick pointed out that fourth-placed Novellist had got warm beforehand. "I am sure he is better than he showed to day but the winner is a super filly," he added.
Also on Sunday
Baden-Baden: William Buick was out of luck in both Listed races on the Grosser Preis undercard, where he was beaten into second on last year's German Derby winner Waldpark in the Veuve Clicquot Cup.
The odds-on favourite was unable to catch the front-running outsider Quinindo (Elfi Schnakenburg/Adrie de Vries), sent off an 11-1 shot for the 1m3f contest.
Paraisa, Buick's mount in the Berenberg Bank Cup, finished seventh of nine in the 1m1f event, won by Samba Brazil (Andreas Wohler/Mirco Demuro).