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Group 1 Winner Girolamo Carries Schiergen`s Hopes In Dubai Sheema Classic

Danedream Trainer’s Charge Settling Well In Dubai

Last year, the Peter Schiergen yard in Cologne, Germany, went from the ecstasy of joy when Danedream claimed the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot, to the depths of despair when the entire yard had to suffer a Government imposed quarantine because of an outbreak of swamp fever.

Unsurprisingly, during the months of being unable to run horses anywhere in the world, the thoughts rapidly turned to Dubai, where the Dubai World Cup Carnival started just about when the quarantine was lifted.

For Ilke Hildebrand, Peter Schiergen’s assistant, who first came to Dubai in 2006 when Encinas won a handicap over a mile and a quarter, Dubai was a light at the end of the tunnel.

“Not being able to go racing even though your horses are jumping out of their skin is a nightmare,” she said. “Peter immediately started to think about the Carnival in Dubai though and we managed to bring five horses over.”

Apart from one starter who failed to deliver, all the others ran well and now all hopes are pinned on Girolamo, who is going to compete in the Group 1 Dubai Sheema Classic on Saturday. The son of former German Derby winner Dai Jin seems in good form and Ilke confirms: “Dubai is the Ritz Carlton for horses. They all love it here. You can really see how they change. They love to role in the grass in the morning and turn into different animals.

“At home they might be quirky or difficult, but here they are just lovely rides.”

As to Girolamo’s chances on Saturday she concludes: “It’s going to be quite tough. Certainly tougher than winning the Group 1 in Cologne last year. It’s quite a competitive race this year, but we shall see. In any case, he seems in great form.”