Second Step

SECOND STEP, trained by Luca Cumani from England,
beats the best German older horse ITO and the
German Derby winner NUTAN in the
125th Grosser Preis von Berlin 2015

The 2017 message from the owner of Berlin-Hoppegarten racecourse

Dear Madam/Sir,

What is new at Hoppegarten for the 2017 season? We have made good strides enhancing the status of our four Group races and increased the number of our Listed races to six. Most significant is the elevation to Group 2 of the Comer Group International Oleander-Rennen over 3200 m. Germany’s premier extended distance race has additional appeal through our new partnership with Belmont Park in New York – the winner is entitled to an all-fees-paid entry in the Grade 3 $400,000 Belmont Gold Cup Invitational over two miles on Turf, including a generous travel allowance. The Oleander-Rennen’s sponsor Comer Group International is also the partner of the Group 1 Irish St. Leger on The Curragh and the first three in the Oleander pay no entry fee for the Irish St. Leger. In addition we have created two new Listed Races over 2800 m in April and August to enhance the offering for staying horses.

The winner of our other Group 2, the Soldier Hollow Diana-Trial for three year old fillies over 2000 m on 4 June, also benefits from an all-fees-paid invitation to the $1.000.000 Grade 1 Belmont Oaks Invitational over 2000 m on Turf. This race is ideally slotted 34 days after the Soldier Hollow Diana-Trial and 29 days before the Group 1 German Oaks allowing the Berlin winner to run in both races.

We are delighted to welcome LONGINES as a long term partner for the Group 1 127th Grosser Preis von Berlin, the centre piece of our two day Grand Prix Festival Meeting on 12th and 13th August. This historic race only returned to Hoppegarten in 2011 and has been won by prolific horses such as DANEDREAM (2011) and PROTECTIONIST (2016). Success has not eluded foreign horses either. Andre Fabre won the Berlin Grand Prix at his first visit to Hoppegarten with MEANDRE in 2012, as did Luca Cumani with SECOND STEP in 2015. The two day Grand Prix Festival Meeting features three Listed races over 1200, 1800 (fillies and mares) and 2800 m. Chantilly based John Hammond won the 1200 m Listed in both 2015 and 2016 with his two Berlin runners ever! On Saturday evening we will be holding our traditional Grand Prix Evening Reception at an attractive location.

We are making good progress putting Hoppegarten back on the international map following decades behind the Iron Curtain. Our attractive Owner and Trainer Benefits are designed to make your stay in Berlin and at Hoppegarten as comfortable and memorable as possible - please see page 4 for full details.

In 2013 Hoppegarten was given the status of an official “Landmark of National Importance” by the German government and we are continuing our multi-year refurbishment and investment programme. We are making good progress in establishing Hoppegarten as a major outdoor venue in the Berlin region and are proud to welcome Lollapalooza Berlin, a major international Music Festival on 9 and 10 September with an expected crowd of 140,000. Whilst securing additional funds for the development of our racing and training operations we are confident that it puts the venue on the races on the map for the young generation.

I invite you to come racing at one of Europe’s most historic tracks whilst enjoying Berlin’s wealth of cultural attractions and its many fine yet affordable hotels and restaurants. We hope to see you soon.

With kind regards,
Gerhard Schöningh