Trainer Baltromei dies after lengthy illness
WERNER BALTROMEI, one of Germany's most successful and popular trainers, died on Wednesday at the age of 49 after a long illness.
He was a member of a well-known racing family, and his father Alfred was a trainer as is his younger brother. However he was by far the most successful and was in many ways a pioneer, especially in his attitude to French racing.
He started training in Mülheim in 1994, and in the early days divided his attention between Flat racing and jumps; his first big star was Wild Doc, one of the best German chasers at the turn of the century, who was usually partnered by Jim Culloty.
He sent his first runners to France in 1997, but did not take that country seriously until 2005. That year he had 50 starters in France, winning 4 races, but he began an intensive study of the French racing and handicapping system. He never mastered the language, but he certainly figured out the racing, and in 2006 he had 29 winners of €645,655 euros in France, in 2007 21 winners of €770,629 and 2008 28 winners of €748,485.
They were his glory days, and he hit the headlines when winning Group 1 races on Arc day two years running - the Prix du Cadran with Le Miracle in 2007 and Lady Marian in the Prix de l´Opera in 2008. Both were owned by his biggest patron, Rennstall Gestüt Hachtsee, and were ridden by Dominique Boeuf, with who he had a long and profitable relationship.
He had fewer successes in Germany, but took the Group 1 Preis von Europa with Baila Me in 2008 and last year trained the champion juvenile Tai Chi. Tai Chi was also his last runner, when unplaced in Monday´s German 2,000 Guineas, but he did have two winners that day, one of them in his own colours and one for Hachtsee.
All told he won 596 races, and at his peak had almost 100 horses in the yard. Even at the end, when he was known to be in very poor health with cancer, he had 50 horses and was in charge of day-to-day training, in which he was greatly helped by Boeuf, who regularly commuted from Chantilly to help out.
Baltromei leaves a wife and two children.