Australian interest was high in Group I racing overnight in Europe and while Australian bred and owned colt Artorius raced below his best at Deauville, the Australian Bloodstock team had plenty to celebrate claiming their third win in the Group I German Oaks (2200m).
Successful previously with Salomina and Turfdonna, the well known colours of Luke Murrell and Jamie Lovett’s Australian Bloodstock were carried this time by Toskana Belle, trained by Andreas Wohler and ridden by champion Australian jockey Kerrin McEvoy.
Toskana Belle started her racing career this year under the care of Marian Falk Weissmeier, but transferred to Wohler after winning a Listed race in Germany in May followed by a good third in the Group III Diana Trial.
She was a 16-1 shot for her first Group I and led all the way before fighting on to win by a head capping a big 24 hours for Australian Bloodstock, whose dashing grey import Saunter Boy won the $300,000 Grand National Hurdle at Sandown on Sunday, read about him here.
TOSKANA BELLE the first Gr1 winner for Shamalgan (Footstepsinthesand) in the Preis der Diana.
— Pedigree Update (@pedigreeupdate) August 7, 2022
Supplemented into the German Oaks at a cost of €50,000, Toskana Belle set a new record time of 2:11.21.
“I’ve been very lucky to ride group one winners in Germany in the early 2000s and so was very pleased when Andreas rang up and offered me the ride–Luke Murrell and Jamie Lovett really do love racing here and she’s a bonny little filly who they said had a great chance. When I looked at the tote board coming out, she was 18-1 but she didn’t run like an 18-1 shot did she?” Kerrin McEvoy said after the race.
The win was a successful conclusion for a long term plan for Australian Bloodstock, who purchased Toskana Belle privately this year after she showed potential in her first couple of starts.
“We wanted to make it in case there was no pace and she has run on this track before, which is always an advantage. She was acquired especially for the Oaks and while of course you don’t really know ten weeks ahead, she continued to improve and worked so well that we felt sure about supplementing her on Monday,” said Andreas Wohler, who won the Melbourne Cup for the Australian Bloodstock team with German bred stallion Protectionist in 2014.
French bred Toskana Belle was bred by Ecurie Normandie Pur Sang and has three wins from five starts.
She is the lone stakes-winner for her sire Shamalgan, a Group I winning son of Footstepsinthesand and is the fifth Group I winner for Teofilo as a broodmare sire. She is a half-sister to stakes-placed Frohsim and is the second winner from Tristane, a winning half-sister by Teofilo to Group III winner Varevees.
3 Year Old Bay Stallion
Foaled: Mar 12, 2020
3 Year Old Bay Stallion
Sire: War Front
Dam: True Style
Foaled: May 20, 2020
3 Year Old Chestnut Gelding
Sire: New Bay
Dam: Poyle Meg
Foaled: Apr 15, 2020