Hamburg (pictured) played host to the Sparda 143rd Deutsches DerbyPICTURE: Edward Whitaker (racingpost.com/photos)
Pastorius upsets odds-on Novellist in Derby
Report: Hamburg, Sunday
Sparda 143rd Deutsches Derby (Group 1) 1m4f, 3yo only
THE recent jinx on favourites in the German Derby continued at Hamburg on Sunday when odds-on shot Novellist was outrun in the final stages by 31-1 shot Pastorius, giving both his trainer Mario Hofer and jockey Terry Hellier their first success in the race after many near misses.
Mano Diao, also trained by Hofer, set the pace together with longshot Macao, while Dettori quickly had Black Arrow in a prominent position, and both Novellist and Pastorius could be made out near the back of the field.
As the field bunched up coming into the straight, Novellist and Pastorius, who tracking him, improved their position on the outside, but Frankie Dettori made the first move.
However, Black Arrow could never get away from the field and Girolamo and Baltic Rock were the two challengers at the distance, with Novellist coming up strongly in the centre of the track and Pastorius on the wide outside.
Just when it appeared Novellist might justify the strong support, Pastorius found an extra gear and although the perspective was deceptive, it was clear he had won by half a length.
Hellier was able to celebrate the greatest triumph of his career at the age of 46. "I've been trying to win the race for over 20 years," he said, "and it's a great feeling. It was not a deliberate manoeuvre to come so wide, but the horse wanted to go that way and was galloping on so strongly that I let him get on with it."
Mario Hofer said: "I've been runner-up here three times and was very sad two years ago to finish second with Zazou to a supplemented Godolphin entry (Buzzword) and this time I thought we were running for second place again behind Novellist.
"But Pastorius had been working very well and I expected him to finish in the frame. His two defeats this season can be ignored and I decided after the German 2,000 Guineas that he was a stayer and needed longer distances. I have complete confidence in Terry and gave him no orders at all."
Andreas Wöhler said afterwards: "Novellist ran a good race, but he was a bit phlegmatic today," and Dr Christoph Berglar, owner-breeder of the beaten favourite, smiled and said: "That's racing!"
Frankie Dettori said of Black Arrow: "He's a lovely horse and I think he will make a super four-year-old, but he ran flat in the straight today."
There are no definite plans for the leading candidates, but Mario Hofer indicated the winner might run next in the Grosser Preis von Baden.