Age of Jape, with 2 wins this year, may exit Central Europe

13 thoughts on “Age of Jape, with 2 wins this year, may exit Central Europe”

  1. Leaving Central Europe is a forced move.

    AoJ’s last race was a G1 for 29.000€, but his other start this year was a 6.400€ race, and still included most of the A-list of Czech/ Slovak older horses (Camill, Ramblin’ Scout and Savignon).

    Let’s hope Age of Jape’s connections don’t make the common mistake of trying their first “Western” race in Germany, where the quality/ purse discrepancy is comparably bad (especially for non-handicap, non-restricted races). France and Northern Italy (large purses, so-so competition) are a much more promising alternative, but for some reason (tradition, I guess) many Central European horsemen will invariably try their hands at German races first.
    Case in point would be Sandor Ribarszki, whose Berlin experiment was a total, and predictable, disaster.

  2. Malcer,

    Thanks for the comments. They probably try Germany first for the cultural simpatico; plus, France would probably be tougher. Overdose did the same route: Germany first.

  3. I am very glad to read lot about Age of Jape and Czech turf from you. And I am always happy when the Czech-trained horse can compete in the Western Europe. I hope that Age of Jape is now pointing there. You are writing about Germany, I believe Italy is more probable right now. Some of the Czech trainer succeed in there last and this year. It was listed win of Blue Coral (horse of the year 2008 in Czech Republic), this year Corcovada’s win and Sakheart’s second place in listed..Mariydi was 3rd in listed over 3000m and this weekend Iryklon was 3rd in the same listed race, where Blue Coral succeed. So, Czech trainers know that they can earn some money there.
    I see two problems with Age of Jape only. His trainer is..sort of cautious. He seems to enjoy being sovereign in the region, but he doesn’t travel often (at least with flat horses) out. You can remember legendary Scyris, multiple sprinter champion, horse of the year..more than 30 wins and only 6 lengths behind Overdose in Bratislava! 🙂 But except running in Austria, he hadn’t really tried anything bigger. Many other trainers would travel out, just to compare with “real opponents”, but Scyris stayed here – The King..but one-eyed in the country of blind. On the other hand, it was already announced that Age of Jape I hope it is going to happen. And I believe, it will be Italy.
    The second problem is not in the close future. I’m only praying for that Age of Jape won’t compete in steeplechase ever. His trainer likes steeplechase races and unfortunately it isn’t unusual to see derby winners in Czech Republic running in tough steeplechase races. But I hope, that Age of Jape will be so good, that this is never going to happen. And that there will be pressure from Poland – they still don’t have a strong follower of Jape and I heard that they are very interested in him after end of his career. It is obvious – as you said Alleged’s line is almost dead and it is necessary to keep the bloodlines variety in these times.
    Wow, that is quite long, what I’ve just written. Anyway, keep writing about Czech turf and other “exotic” countries..I always like to hear that somebody far away knows that we have horse racing here :). Good job!

    Filip from Czech Republic

  4. Sid,

    Overdose tried Magna Racino in Austria first, which does have a pretty inviting purse/competition level (from a horseman’s POV, I mean).

    But the main difference is something else: Overdose was a dasher, a category which is largely ignored by German breeders. Age of Jape runs from 1600-3000m, the same category where Germany’s big name breeders set their focus. To win in a 2000 or 2400m 20K Listed race in Germany, you need a horse that can win a 50K+ race in Italy or France. Even those abundant 5K conditions races will almost always include one or two regally-bred horses from the big stables. As a rule of thumb, the quality and breeding of Czech and Polish horses is comparable to East German ones, and of those, only a very small number have a chance against Schlenderhan’s or Fährhof’s third-stringers (almost none if you don’t count those trained by Roland Dzubasz, for whose conditioning success I’ve run out of superlatives some time ago).

    1. thanks, Malcer. When I meant Overdose tried Germany first, I meant, of course, the larger European countries. Good point about the races that Germans target falling into the range of Age of Jape’s strength, which is actually 2400m to 2800m. The 1600m of the Guineas was doable only against Central Euro horses. Mind you, the horse he just beat, Ruten, the Polish champion, was 2nd a German G 3 at 3000-odd meters, but as Filip pointed out it looks like Italy will be the target.

      1. Filip’s comment was interesting indeed.

        Interesting comment about AoJ’s best distance too. Personally, I’d guess 2000-2800m, based on absolutely nothing but visual impression and campaigning. Agree about the 1600m comment, even though I wonder how some of the World’s leading mid-distance horses would actually do over the mile if they were asked to after the Guineas. My impression is that many of those with a Guineas/ Derby breeding focus are fairly flexible within that range (at least unless they encounter a true specialist) or at least a considerable sub-range.

        Examples: Vodka is outstanding from 1600-2000, but can stretch to 2400m on the highest level (with the last furlong being simply a stay-through, though), while Sea The Stars was clearly the class of the crop from 1600-2400, and given the weak competition, I’m sure he would have won the Leger too.

      2. Also, 3000m+ races in Germany are , oddly, often not that strong.

        It seems weird, I agree, since Godolphin and others often successfully enter German-bred horses from representative lines over exactly those distances in comparable races in other countries, but the A-list of German owner-breeders tends to stick to the 2000-2500 range even with horses that could clearly do well over a further trip.

        My only explanation is that they want their horses to be attractive as a stallion, and for some reason the prejudice persists (internationally) that great stayers are too ‘niche-y’ to be great stallions (look at Yeats, whose greatest forms were from 2800 to 2 1/2 miles, but whose training forms suggest he would have been a group-level performer from a mile onwards).

      3. Sid has the truth about the distance preferences of the horse. I think that he needs at least 2200m, but 2400m and longer is much much better. His win in the Czech version of Guineas was very tight and it happened only because he is so extraordinary and may be, he was more matured than other horses there. You can check the video of that race: . On the other hand, horse he had beaten there – Iryklon won good race for milers in Czech Republic this year and was 3rd in the Italian listed as I mentioned above (and could be actually better because he couldn’t find the place for his finish, which came very late). But it is hard to compare these two horses more than a year after their last confrontation. But I think, mile is too short anyway.
        Second thing, nobody is probably right with the country of his next start. You can see the possible entries for the next week’s racing in Bratislava: . There is a derby meeting in Slovakia and you can find Age of Jape in “17. Zlatý pohár” race. The official list of starters will be probably known in the beginning of the next week, so we will know more then.

    1. Sure I will. I hope we will see him in international competition soon. Those entries to Bratislava, which I found yesterday slightly disappointed me, but didn’t surprise me though.

  5. Very, very interesting official start list of the Bratislava derby meeting:

    Just to name some of the big things here: Age of Jape in the 4th race – 2600m; Czech derby winner Talgado with his 16yrs old rider again in the Slovakian Derby..against 3rd in Czech derby Miracle Match, Slovakian 2000 guineas winner Bribon, Czech 2000 guineas winner (from Slovakia as well) Innovator, against 4th in Czech derby and 3rd in Czech Guineas Atacama Crossing (from Poland) and other decent 3yrs olds… (all in 8th race)
    And the Biggest thing last: 6th race – Overdose is back in 1000m race (His trainer said that he decided to choose easier race for the beginning and also in this very hot weather..he didn’t want to travel far with horse) (written in Czech version of Paddock Revue –

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