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Home team looks strong in final Group race

Preview: Germany, Sunday
Frankfurt: Hessen-Pokal  (Group 3) 3yo+, 1m 2f, 2 pm (GMT)

FRANKFURT'S Hessen-Pokal on Sunday is the last European pattern race of 2012, in which Sheikh Mohammed´s French-trained filly Calipatria (Henri-Alex Pantall/ Fabrice Veron) is the only non-German runner.

Pantall and Veron have a excellent strike rate in Germany and Calipatria has won on both her starts here, at Düsseldorf in August and Hanover a month later, but the field here is much stronger.

Trainer Andreas Wöhler holds a strong hand with King´s Hall (Eduardo Pedroza) and the supplemented Seismos (Andrea Atzeni), both penalised for winning a Group race this autumn.

King´s Hall is more of a miler, but gets this trip on an easy track like Frankfurt, and indeed won this event last year, while Seismos - who made a successful comeback at Baden-Baden after a year off - has been racing exclusively over longer distances amd may find this distance on the short side.

On ratings the one to beat is Durban Thunder, who has not won since defeating Famous Name in a Munich Group 1 sixteen months ago. He has however run several good races in the meantime, although he was well beaten in the Premio Roma a fortnight ago.

Trainer Paul Harley, who has booked his nephew Martin to ride, said: " He travelled badly to Italy, but he´s fine now and in good form."

With several front-runners in the field, there should be a good pace, which should suit the strong travelling Durban Thunder as well as the hold-up horse King´s Hall.

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