The Baden-Baden festival started yesterday and continues long into next week with the pinnacle event being the Group 1 Grosser Preis Von Baden featuring G1 superheroes Sea The Moon and Lucky Lion.
Tomorrow we see the feature race of sprinting division with Goldene Peitsche, a race full of history. Unfortunately, most domestic betting companies don’t price up the German races unless they have UK runners, but you can use Racebets.com. The two really interesting and value bets tomorrow are EMERALD STAR and SIGN OF BLESSING in the feature.
Coolmore Stud B-B Cup – Listed Race
Many may be aware of the position EMERALD STAR holds in my heart after she won the Group 3 at Lingfield at a massive 16/1, being my nap on the On The Other Hoof video, which remains the biggest priced winning nap.
The important form line here is the Schwarzgold-Rennen, which is available to view on German Racing Review. It was run over 1600m and won by Meerjungfrau who’s now racing in the US. The favourite for today’s Listed race is Ajaxana, who finished second that day, with the third Emerald Star being the third favourite today. The difference between the two of them that day was 1 ½ L but I maintain the distance of 1600m suited Ajaxana more than it does Emerald Star and with today’s 1400m trip she may struggle to go past.
In the Schwarzgold-Rennen, Ajaxana took years to ages to pass the front-running Emerald Star and only did so around the 200m furlong pole – once the winner Meerjungfrau had flown. She was either unwilling, which I don’t believe, or just lacking a turn of foot and the drop in trip to 1400m today is a huge negative. She has won the 1000 Guineas over 1600m this season but she also took her time to go past before winning cosily. There’s also the argument that Ajaxana goes better on good ground, but I don’t see the slightly slower conditions as a big enough negative.
Unfortunately for Ajaxana fans, I think 1400m and Emerald Star is a match made in heaven, as they suggested at Lingfield. Her next and last start at York needs forgiving, as she came out slowly from the stalls – she likes to front-run – and ran over an inadequate trip (1200m). Her price perhaps harshly reflects that run and at 9/2 is a steal of a price (Ajaxana is 17/10).
Takenja is an interesting third wheel in the race but would need improvement in my opinion and has a three-month absence to overcome.
Advice: Emerald Star 9/2 Racebets (unless a domestic company prices up)
Goldene Peitsche – Group 3
The selection of SIGN OF BLESSING in the feature, as he is the favourite, looks an obvious one. Frankly, it is – his form is simply far superior to anything else in the race.
His runs this year include the qualifier to this race, the sprint on French 1000 Guineas day; Prix de Saint Georges won by the French super sprinter Catcall. He was second ahead of the third Stepper Point who has obviously done very well when placed at G1 level this year. On his next start he stormed home to be denied by Thawaany in another Group 3 in France. The softer conditions will be perfect for this multiple winner.
His main danger is domestic G3 sprint masterclass AMARILLO who always runs well in these types of events, having won two of the five qualifiers. The fact he has to give the French raiders 3lbs, alongside the stronger and more international form lines, is enough to overlook him for Sign of Blessing. 5/2 is too big merely on form.
Advice: Sign of Blessing 5/2 (Racebets)