BREEDING INSIGHTS: A passion for breeding

GESTÜT Görlsdorf is owned by Heike Bischoff and her husband Niko Lafrentz. They bred and raced the Lanwades Stud-based Sea The Moon (Sea The Stars) and their stud is among the most successful in Germany. The couple have, however, a very international perspective too, and they have a number of ideals and criteria which they maintain.

Describing themselves as having a passion for breeding, the first thing you will find on their homepage is an outline of their philosophy, which is ‘to breed healthy, strong and fast middle-distance horses to race over distances between nine and 12 furlongs”. While they may be described as classic owner-breeders, they produce horses both to sell in Germany and internationally, and for their own racing stable.

They also say that their aspiration is to carefully develop their traditional and very successful bloodlines, and to enhance them and grow their broodmare band through regular acquisitions.

The couple welcomed racing back in Germany and celebrated its return last Friday when progeny of their farm won each of the group races at Cologne, both trained by Henk Grewe. First up was the three-year-old colt Wonderful Moon and this son of Sea The Moon captured the Group 3 Cologne Classic over 10 and a half furlongs.

Sold as a yearling at Baden-Baden for €55,000, he was a Group 3 winner last year when he was successful twice in four outings, but such were his performances that he was rated the joint-champion juvenile colt in Germany. This was his first start this year and he holds an entry for the German Derby. He could well be on his way to emulating his classic-winning sire.

Wonderful Moon is one of three foals of racing age from his Lomitas (Niniski) dam Wonderful Lilly who won as a three-year-old. The first two included Wonderful Lilly’s only daughter to date, the stakes-placed Wonderful Görl (Areion) and she was repurchased by Gestüt Görlsdorf last year for just €22,000 to join their broodmare band. The stud’s policy of only breeding mares every second year means that the next offspring from Wonderful Lilly is a yearling colt, named Wonderful Eagle (Adlerflug).

The good news now is that both mother and daughter, Wonderful Lilly and Wonderful Görl, are in foal to early February coverings by Sea The Moon.

Wonderful Lilly is one of eight winners from her dam Wonderful World (Dashing Blade), a three-time winning full-sister to a trio of stakes winners. Chief among those eight successful offspring are the Group 3 Prix Chloe winner Wunder (Adlerflug), who was also placed at Group 1 level in Germany, and the Ayr Gold Cup winner and group-placed Advanced (Night Shift). There is also a four-year-old Wonderworld (Sea The Moon), a half-sister to Wonderful Filly, in the Gestüt Görlsdorf broodmare band and she was covered for the first time this year and is in foal to Cracksman (Frankel).

That trio of stakes-winning own-siblings to Wonderful World are the Gran Premio d’Italia winner Winning Dash, the dual stakes winner Wonder Of Dashing, and the stakes-winning three-year-old Wonderful Dreams. The latter has gone on to become a stakes producer herself, her son World Star (Sholokhov) being a listed winner at three in Germany.

The six-year-old Be My Sheriff (Lawman) doubled the group tally for Gestüt Görlsdorf as breeders at Cologne when he won the Group 2 Carl Jaspers-Preis, adding to previous victories in a pair of listed races. He has now amassed almost £120,000 from five wins, including in France, and he had also been runner-up in the race he captured last week.

Select group

Be My Sheriff is one of a select group of sons and daughters of his French Derby winning sire Lawman (Invincible Spirit). The former Ballylinch Stud stallion, now standing his second season at Haras de Grandcamp, has sired five Group 1 winners and five Group 2 winners. Be My Sheriff is the latest addition to that list. Also winner of the Group 1 Prix Jean Prat, Lawman’s winners at the highest level comprise the classic winning filly Just The Judge and four sons, Anngrove Stud stallion Marcel, St Leger winner Harbour Law, Law Enforcement and the St James’s Palace Stakes winner Most Improved.

Be My Sheriff is from a mare that was bought by the farm in 2010 for 18,000gns at the Tattersalls July Sale. At the time Bezzaaf (Machiavellian) was in foal to Dutch Art, a son of Medicean (Machiavellian), and the foal she was carrying was quite an exception, being the only runner from his dam not to win or place. He did however reward the stud when he repaid his dam’s purchase price handsomely when selling as a foal for 38,000gns, and making profit when realising €120,000 the following year.

Bezzaaf has had 11 foals, the most recent of which is Be My Görl (Sea The Moon) who is unraced to date but is retained and in training with Roland Dzubasz at Hoppegarten. Nine of the other 10 have run, seven are winners and one was placed. While Be My Sheriff is now a Group 2 winner, Bezzaaf is also dam of the UAE listed winner Ans Bach (Green Desert), the French and US stakes-placed Zefooha (Lomitas) and last year’s listed runner-up Beam Me Up (Sea The Moon).

While Bezzaaf is no longer with us, hopefully Gestüt Görlsdorf will eventually welcome her daughter back into the fold. Raced by Sheikh Ahmed Al Maktoum, Bezzaaf won on her debut at three over 10 furlongs at Windsor, trained by Michael Jarvis. She is one of six winners from Maid Of Kashmir (Dancing Brave) who won at Navan for Sheikh Mohammed in 1994 when trained by Michael Kauntze, later running third to Ballykett Nancy and Memories in the Listed Oaks Trial at the Curragh.

Maid Of Kashmir’s half-brother More Wind (Windwurf) gained seven of his 12 wins in listed races, while their winning half-sister Messina (Dashing Blade) bred the English Group 2 Champagne Stakes winner McCartney (In The Wings) and the Canadian Grade 2 Sky Classic Stakes winner Messi (New Approach).


Sea The Moon, sire of Wonderful Moon and mentioned many times in the review above, was an outstanding winner of the Group 1 German Derby and many observer’s idea of the likely Arc winner before injury ended his career far too early. He retired to Lanwades Stud in 2015 and his oldest crop are now just four.

Wonderful Moon is one of eight stakes winners, five of them at group level, from the first two crops of Sea The Moon who won four of his five starts and was runner-up on his only defeat to Ivanhowe in the Group 1 Grosser Preis von Baden. The German champion is the best runner from his dam, a full-sister by Monsun (Konigsstuhl) to three Group 1 winners in Schiaparelli, Samum and Salve Regina.