Trainer Marcus Klug has turned to a band of British-based jockeys as he prepares to saddle seven runners in this year’s Deutsches Derby.
The Romanian-born horseman has won three of the past 10 renewals of the Hamburg Classic, taking his first title with Sea The Moon in 2014 before Windstoss won in 2017 and Weltstar kept the trophy in the yard the following year.
Hollie Doyle, now a Classic winner after steering Nashwa to French Oaks glory earlier this month, has been booked to ride the Adlerflug filly Wagnis.
The bay has run twice so far and was victorious on both occasions, winning a one-mile maiden on her only two-year-old start before thriving from a step up in trip when taking the Group Three Diana Trial at Hoppegarten by an impressive five lengths
“She won a Group Three very easily in Berlin, it’s difficult to say how good she is against the colts but she is certainly good enough to come in the first four horses,” said Klug.
A further increase in distance now awaits the filly, with Klug confident she will stay as she is well-placed to inherit stamina from both sides of her pedigree.
“I’m sure it’s better for her, the 2400 metres (mile and a half), it’s better for her than 2000,” he said.
“She is by Adlerflug, a horse that always stayed, and I trained the mother and she was a stayer and won a Listed race over 2800. I’m sure she has no problem with the distance.”
Doyle was booked to ride Wagnis on the same day as her winning French Oaks ride, a performance Klug was impressed by having watched from Germany on television.
“I was in Germany but I watched the race and she was good, very, very good,” he said.
Klug’s prior winner Sea The Moon is the sire of So Moonstruck, the current favourite for this year’s renewal after he was beaten just a head in the Group Two Sparkasse KolnBonn Union-Rennen at Cologne in early June.
Jockey Andrasch Starke’s whip use in the race earned him a 14-day suspension, leaving him unable to take his pick from Klug’s runners on Sunday.
As a result Klug, who trains near Cologne, has recruited Frankie Dettori to partner the colt, a rider expected to rack up plenty of airmiles this season and next after his well-documented “sabbatical” from his partnership with John and Thady Gosden in Newmarket.
Klug said: “My stable jockey, Andrasch Starke, cannot ride, we were searching for a good jockey from England to ride and we are lucky that Frankie can ride him – I’m happy!
“So Moonstruck has very good form, at Cologne he was a little bit early in front and so he was beaten by a head. He is a very good horse and I think he has a good shot, he’s improving with each start.”
Richard Kingscote, already a Derby-winning rider having triumphed at Epsom aboard Desert Crown, will get the leg-up on German 1000 Guineas runner-up Mylady.
The filly, grey like her sire The Grey Gatsby, was beaten just three-quarters of a length in the latter race, run over a mile, but Klug has doubts over her stamina as she has never tackled a staying trip.
“She’s a very good filly, she won a trial in April against the colts, a Group Three (the Dr Busch-Memorial).
“It’s a little bit difficult to say that she stays the distance, she has never run further than 1700 metres. I think 2000 is no problem for her, 2400, I’m not sure.
“I think 2000 and 2200 is perfect for her and she has a lot of class, she’s a good filly, maybe it is possible.
“I have seven horses in the race, some with good chances, we will see!”