German Group I Glory for Late Bloomer Neatico
Amidst the best year of his five-season career, late-blooming 6-year-old Neatico scored a breakthrough victory in the Grosser Dallmayr-Pries-Bayerisches Zuchtrennen (Ger-I) July 28 at Munich.
Supplemented to the race, the Medicean horse raced from midfield to collar French-based Opposite close to home and won going away by 1 1/4 lengths. Opposite, who was seeking to remain undefeated this season for Andre Fabre, outfinished Godolphin's globetrotting group I winner Hunter's Light by a length for second.
Neatico covered 2,000 meters (about 1 1/4 miles) in 2:04.07 on turf rated as good while winning his third successive group race this season under regular rider Andrasch Starke.
Until this year, Neatico had won only three races from 23 starts, including the 2011 Henkel-Meile, but flashed his potential as a 2-year-old with a group III win in 2009. With a 12 stakes-placings on his record, he snapped a 13-race winless skid in June, posting his second group victory in the Grosser Preis de Wirtschaft (Ger-III). He followed up in July with a win in the Grosser Preis von Lotto Hamburg Trophy (Ger-III) in his previous start to earn a shot a group I glory.
Peter Schiergen, who trains Neatico for owner-breeder Gestut Ittlingen, told Racing Post before the Grosser Dallmayr-Pries that Neatico has always had the potential to shine.
"Neatico has been a bit unlucky but has really come into form now and deserves a crack at a group I," he said.
Hunter's Light gained the lead 400 meters out, but he could not hold back the charge of Neatico or early pacesetter Opposite, losing the runner-up spot late as Opposite battled back but lacked the extra energy to win.
Bred in Germany out of the winning Sadler's Wells mare Nicola Bella, Neatico's record stands at six wins six seconds, and six thirds from 29 career starts. He is a half brother to U.S. grade II winner Beautyandthebeast and is from the family of French group I winner Vin de France, English group II winner and sire Vacarme, and Irish classic-placed Sister Bella.
Neatico is among 40 stakes winners and 22 graded or group winners for Medicean, a 16-year-old son of Machiavellian who stands at Cheveley Park Stud in Newmarket.
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