Royal Ascot in the orbit of German star Wonderful Moon after sale to Haras d’Etreham

Horse Racing Wonderful Moon
Wonderful Moon: will target international G1 races after sale to Haras d’Etreham: Photo: Deutscher Galopp/Marc Rühl

By Jon Lees

Germany: The owners of Hello Youmzain are targeting another Royal Ascot raid in 2021 after buying into last year’s German champion two-year-old Wonderful Moon.

The son German Derby winner Sea The Moon colt will stay in Cologne with Henk Grewe, Germany’s champion trainer, for an international campaign with the G1 Prince of Wales’s Stakes among his likely assignments.

The deal is the latest completed by Nicolas de Chambure’s Normandy-based Haras d’Etreham, whose 2020 accomplishments included a Diamond Jubilee Stakes victory with Hello Youmzain, owned in partnership with New Zealand’s Cambridge Stud.

Hello Youmzain has now been retired to take up stud duties alongside fellow new stallions Persian King and Wooded. They will be joined by Wonderful Moon at the end of his racing career.

“We’ve been following Wonderful Moon,” said de Chambure. “He was very impressive as a two-year-old and Sea The Moon is a sire line I like a lot. If you take out the Derby where he didn’t stay and had a little issue as well, he won all his Group races by wide margins.

“I think he is a horse that can progress again from three to four,” he added. “We will be aiming at the top ten furlong races around Europe next year. 

“The Prix Ganay is the first G1 over that sort of trip early in the year so it makes sense to start him there. If that goes well, we could be looking at the Prince of Wales. We will see if we can win a G1 and travel if we can.”

Wonderful Moon, who has four Group wins among his eight runs, started favourite for the Deutsches Derby but finished fifth behind Arc runner-up In Swoop. He got back to winning ways last month with a four-length win in a G3 event at Hanover.

Haras d’Etreham have secured 50 per cent of the colt to race in partnership with original owners Stall Wasserfreunde.

The purchase was part-financed by the sale of Wootton Bassett to Coolmore in the summer. At Haras d’Etreham he had developed into one of Europe’s top stallions, having sired European champion three-year-old Almanzor, Breeders’ Cup winner Audarya and Wooded, winner of the Prix de l’Abbaye.

“Considering everything that is happening in the world we’ve been lucky 2020 has been very good for us,” said de Chambure. “The main thing was the sale of Wootton Bassett, which was a very difficult and important decision for us.

“We are happy with it now and I think he will do very well for Coolmore,” he went on. “We were able to secure some young horses as well. We already have Hello Youmzain who had a very good year, winning another G1 at Royal Ascot, and we were able to secure Persian King and a half of Wonderful Moon.

“There was a lot happening and the sale of Wootton Bassett put us in a position where we could reinvest and take a bit more risk in other horses. We still had Almanzor, who we bred as well, so we felt we retain a bit of him.”

Horse Racing Henk Grewe trainer
German champion trainer Henk Grewe will keep Wonderful Moon in his stable after sale. Photo: Marc Rühl/renstall-grewe.de

De Chambure became the fourth generation of his family to run the stud when he took it over in 2011. Wootton Bassett, an unbeaten two-year-old who captured the Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere in 2010 for trainer Richard Fahey, became one of his first purchases and though he covered only 20 mares in his first season, one of his offspring was Almanzor.

“That was a pretty poor result to cover 20 mares,” said de Chambure. “He really did it the hard way. Most big stallions have big numbers the first year; it was the opposite with him. He had better quality and better numbers every year which helped his momentum to grow. It’s almost better that way.”

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