By Nicholas Godfrey
Cologne: Preis von Europa G1 €77,500, 1m4f, turf, 3yo+
Donjah (Henk Grewe/Clement Lecoeuvre)
Germany: Britain’s top female rider Hollie Doyle had to settle for third place on Dame Malliot as she made her G1 debut on Saturday at Cologne, where Donjah sprinted home for German champion trainer Henk Grewe to claim the 58th Preis von Europa.
Dual G2 winner Dame Malliot was sent off 2-1 joint-favourite alongside for the seven-runner contest alongside fellow British visitor Barney Roy, who could finish only fourth.
Having her first mount in a G1 race, Doyle gave a bold sight as she made the running on Dame Malliot, only for the four-year-old to get outrun inside the final furlong in a tight finish.
The Ed Vaughan-trained filly was a close-up third, only three-quarters of a length behind the 15-1 winner, who scored by a neck over his compatriot Kaspar after being held up well off the pace.
Godolphin’s supplementary entry Barney Roy was fourth, unable to quicken in the straight on his first attempt at 1m4f.
The winner Donjah is a daughter of Teofilo owned by Darius Racing. She won the G2 Gran Premio del Jockey Club at San Siro in Milan on heavy ground in October.
Winning jockey Clement Lecoeuvre must surely love the Preis von Europa – his sole previous G1 success came in the same race two years ago aboard the Grewe-trained Khan.
Shall we talk about it?
Henk Grewe (Donjah’s trainer): “She needed the run first time out at Hamburg and her last work wasn’t outstanding so we didn’t know what to expect. The soft ground was very important. She’s been entered for the Grosser Preis von Baden and the Arc but we will take our time before we make any decisions.”
Clement Lecoeuvre (Donjah’s jockey): “She’s a very, very good filly. She relaxed as I wanted her to and when she is like that, she has something left for the finish. Last time there was no pace and she finished fourth but today she proved she is a good filly when she has a good pace in front. Then she can kill everybody.”
Hollie Doyle (Dame Malliot’s jockey): “It was a massive run – we were really pleased with her effort. There was no pace on and she relaxed really well. I got an easy enough lead and she responded well. She didn’t handle the two turns great, but it was a game effort.”