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European Pattern Committee stayers' initiative bearing fruit

Hoppegarten Racecourse in Berlin is delighted to announce a record field of 16 runners in the Group 2 Comer Group International Oleander-Rennen on May 14 over 3200m (two miles), Germany's best extended-distance race.

European Pattern Committee stayers' initiative bearing fruit

Hoppegarten Racecourse in Berlin is delighted to announce a record field of 16 runners in the Group 2 Comer Group International Oleander-Rennen on May 14 over 3200m (two miles), Germany's best extended-distance race.

Newly elevated to Group 2 as part of the European Pattern Committee's initiative to promote the breeding, training and racing of staying horses through an improved race programme, the field of 16 runners exceeds significantly the previous record of 14 in 1982 as well as the average field size of 8.7 in the 45 previous runnings of the race.


Britain has the likely favourite, the Hughie Morrison-trained NEARLY CAUGHT, a Group 2 winner and third in the Group 1 Prix du Cadran.

Andreas Woehler's RED CARDINAL, second in the Group 1 Preis von Europa, and the Group 3 German St Leger winning filly NEAR ENGLAND look strongest of the home team.

Other interesting runners are last year's Polish Derby winner CACCINI, narrow second in a 2800m Listed at Hoppegarten four weeks ago, and the ex-Coolmore FIELDS OF ATHENRY, third in the 2015 Group 1 St Leger and having his seasonal debut after a lengthy absence in the colours of his Danish owner and trainer Fleming Velin. The rest of the field includes three Group 3 winners.

The winner of the Berlin race is entitled to an all-fees-paid entry in the Grade 3 $400,000 Belmont Gold Cup Invitational over two miles on turf on June 9 at Belmont Park, USA, 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 (September 10) and the first three in the Oleander pay no entry fee for the Irish St Leger.

Hoppegarten's chairman and owner Gerhard Schoeningh commented today: "We are delighted that the upgrading of the race, as well as the linking to valuable races at Belmont Park and the Curragh, seem to have captured the imagination of owners and trainers both in Germany and abroad.

"Together with our partners, we will work to further strengthen international staying racing in the years to come."

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