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Lomitas: top-class racehorse and Group 1 sire has died aged 22

  PICTURE: Darley 

Top German racehorse and sire Lomitas dies

GESTUT Fährhof's top racehorse and stallion Lomitas has been put down due to health reasons. The son of Niniski was 22.

Sheikh Mohammed acquired a share in Lomitas and so the horse stood at Darley's Dalham Hall Stud in Newmarket for five seasons between 2002 and 2006.

Lomitas returned to Fährhof in 2007 but after suffering declining fertility, for the past two seasons he covered small, private books of mares.

Lomitas, born in Northmore Stud in Newmarket, was bred by Fährhof out of Surumu's champion juvenile daughter La Colorada, from the illustrious German 'L' family of Lirung and Lagunas, which has gone on to also supply Group 1 winners Lord Of England, Lady Marian and Lavirco.

Parts of Lomitas's story came straight off the pages of a Dick Francis novel. He had to overcome a phobia of starting stalls on his way to stardom:  he was Germany's champion juvenile colt of 1990 and started favourite for the following season's German 2,000 Guineas. But at Cologne he refused to enter the stalls, injuring  other horses and humans, and threw himself to the ground during a protracted effort from stalls handlers to get him loaded.

His obstinancy earned him a ban from racing and it took horse whisperer Monty Roberts to exorcise the horse's demons and get him to enter stalls again.

Trained by Andreas Wohler, he raced carrying the stud's famous yellowand black colours and went on to win three Group 1 races - the Grosser Preis der Berliner Bank, the Grosser Preis von Baden and the Europa-Preis - on the way to being rated the third best three-year-old in Europe of 1991, inferior only to Generous and Suave Dancer. He also finished second to underdog Temporal in the Deutsches Derby.

More intrigue came at four when Fährhof owner Walther Jacobs received threats that Lomitas would be killed or harmed. After winning the Gerling-Preis and Hansa-Preis that year the horse was believed poisoned after disappointing as the hot favourite in a Dusseldorf Group 1.

Lomitas was spirited out of Germany in a clandestine operation, to the Newmarket yeard of Susan Piggott where he was known as Pirelli and exercised pre-dawn. He was later transferred to California, where he raced on despite suffering hoof problems from the poisoning.

Lomitas was retired at six to take up stud duties at Fährhof. His best progeny are globe-trotter Silvano, winner of the Arlington Million and Audemars Piguet Queen Elizabeth II Cup, German 2,000 Guineas scorer Sumitas and Deutsches Derby hero Belenus.

His best offspring form his spell standing in Britain are high-class pair Championship Point and Veracity, and last season's Prix de l'Opera winner Shalanaya.

Lomitas is also damsire of Group winners including It's Gino, Santiago and Zazou, and has made his mark over jumps, with progeny including Aitmatov and Danaw.

Fährhof stud manager Herbert Kahrs said: "I have lost a faithful companion in Lomitas. Some consolation is that we have five of his daughters in our broodmare band."




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