Meandre: now trained in the Czech Republic by Arzlangirey ShavuyevPICTURE: HKJC
Meandre seeks repeat in Grosser Preis von Berlin
Preview: Germany, Sunday 3.35pm BST
Hoppegarten: Grosser Preis von Berlin (Group 1) 1m4f, 3yo+
THE late withdrawal of Berlin Berlin means that there are now only six runners in the Germany's fourth most valuable race, just as there was last year when Andre Fabre sent Meandre from his Chantilly base to win this prestigious event.
Meandre now attempts to repeat that victory, but he is now trained in the Czech Republic by Arzlangirey Shavuyev and runs in the colours of Chechen president Ramsan Kadyrov.
Italian jockey Mirco Demuro partners the five-year-old, whose latest performances in the Dubai World Cup and Singapore Airlines Cup were slightly disappointing. However, he is still top-rated here and a return to this track could well bring about a revival in his form.
Peter Schiergen, who won this race with Danedream two years ago, runs two, and with his stable jockey Andrasch Starke suspended, his teenage son Dennis - Germany's leading amateur - rides Nymphea, runner-up to Moment in Time at Haydock last time.
Hong Kong-based Andreas Suborics is on stable-mate Girolamo, third at odds-on to Berlin Berlin last time, but better judged on his Group 1 win at Cologne last September.
Donn Halling (Vaclav Luka jun/Petr Foret) is another Czech challenger, but although he is one of the top performers in Eastern Europe, he needs to improve significantly to score here, while Bulgarian-owned Temida (Miltcho Mintchev/Filip MInarik) has not run since winning a similar event at Munich in September.
Of more interest could be the locally-trained Nordvulkan (Roland Dzubasz/Jozef Bojko), the only three-year-old in the field, who was supplemented after running on strongly to finish third in the German Derby a fortnight ago.