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Sholokhov: leads the German sires' championship by a wafer-thin margin

  PICTURE: Martin Lynch  

German sire title goes to the wire at Neuss

ACTION at Neuss racecourse on Sunday could decide the German sires' championship of 2010, which is nearing a nailbiting conclusion with Sholokhov leading Areion by a margin of just €350.

Sholokhov has three entries for the December 26 meeting - Florentinerin, Nenzo and Signora - against Areion's two, Beltana and Noreia.

The Neuss meeting - which also witnesses a close battle between Peter Schiergen and Christian von der Recke to become Germany's leading trainer - is the country's penultimate race day of the year, with the curtain coming down also at Neuss on New Year's Eve.

It would be a first domestic sires' championship for both Sholokhov - whose progeny earnings stand at €586,995 - and Areion - with prize-money of €586,645.

Areion's sire Big Shuffle, who died last December, as he claimed his fourth German sires' championship, is in third place in this year's table with progeny earnings of €481,410.

Shamardal has proven particularly successful for German breeders, with Gestüt Ammerland's Lope De Vega completing a French Classic double and Elle Shadow and Zazou scoring inGroup races in Germany.  He is fourth, with earnings of €441,800.

Sholokhov, winner of the Gran Criterium in Milan and runner-up in the Irish Derby and Eclipse for Ballydoyle, has stood since his retirement at Gestüt Etzean.

The best progeny by the son of Sadler's Wells - who hails from Jim Bolger's brilliant family of Intense Focus and Soldier Of Fortune - is Preis von Diana and Grosser Preis von Baden winner Night Magic.

Areion, meanwhile, has hauled himself up to the higher echelons of the German stallion ranks from relative obscurity.

As recently as 2007, when his oldest crop were five, Areion didn't make it into Germany's top ten sires. But after six domestic stakes winners this year he has found new popularity and has had to be switched from Gestüt Evershorst to the larger Gestüt Auenquelle to cope with increased demand for the 2011 breeding season.

 

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