|Racing in Iffezheim Photo Credit: Baden Racing|
The “Grosse Woche”, Baden-Baden ́s big meeting which runs from August 30th to September 8th, fully lives up to its name, the “big week”: glamour, football and all the stars of the German turf can be found here during seven outstanding race days on the most beautiful and important racecourse in Germany. The meetings at Iffezheim include no fewer than ten group races, more than any other racecourse in Germany. One Group One race, three Group Two and seven Group Three events are on our programme. The most important event and highlight of the meeting is the Longines Grosser Preis von Baden, with the crème de la crème of international racehorses gathered at the start.
Thousands of visitors coming to Baden-Baden during the Grosse Woche
The other aim is to attract more runners, which we shall only know on the day of the race. There has been a great deal of pu- blicity for the race in the press, not only here but also in France, which will lead to more entries, particularly in view of the highly attractive trophy. This series of races means that the winners of five top races in France and Germany are automatically qualified to run in the prestigious event without paying any entry fees.
Necessary investment and racecourse breakfasts
Iffezheim has the best facilities of any German racecourse, both as regards the racing and the viewing areas. Visitors can experience this for themselves at the dai- ly racecourse breakfasts with racehorses training against a background of the Black Forest in the morning mist. You can sit in the early morning sun right next to the track and watch the same horses go by who will be racing later in the day. Racing cannot get better than this. The range of culinary delicacies on offer is decided by our gastronomic partner, who is responsible for the menus, service and pricing.
The social highlight of the Grosse Woche is the splendid "Grand Prix Ball", which will be held on September 6th on the eve of the Longines Grosser Preis von Baden. High ranking guests from the worlds of politics, business and sport will celebrate the German racing industry in the magnificient surroundings of the Kursaal of the town of Baden-Baden.
TV stations ARD, RTL and ZDF will be present for both weekends as well as a team from glamour magazine BUNTE.TV, who as well as reporting on the racing will also be covering the late night activities in Baden-Baden ́s bars and nightclubs. The local branch of SWR (TV and radio) and the local newspapers Badische Neueste Nachrichten and Badisches Tagblatt will be reporting daily. Large circulation newspapers from further afield – Frankfurt, Stuttgart, Munich and Darmstadt- are also sending journalists and the gossip columnists from the yellow press will also have plenty to write about. Baden Racing ́s media partner Radio Neue Welle will be broadcasting a live two hours report direct from the racecourse. Martin Wacker, also host and commentator at the Karlsruhe football stadium, will be bringing along the team ́s players. Baden Racing is pleased to welcome many foreign journalists such as Francesca Cumani (CNN, Winning Post, USA), Bill Oppenheim (USA), Lissa Oliver (International Thoroughbred Magazine, Ireland) as well as French journalists from Geny Courses, Paris-Turf and Jour de Galop.
The best race of the year: the Longines Grosser Preis von Baden
In 2011 the Swiss watch company Longines took over as the official timekeeper at Iffezheim and also as title sponsor of the top race. The Longines Grosser Preis von Baden (to be run this year on September 7th) has been won for the past two seasons by the outstanding champions Danedream and Novellist. They followed a long list of Grosser Preis von Baden winners who went on to win top races all round the world. In 2002 Marienbad won the Grosser Preis and followed up in the Prix de l ́Arc de Triomphe, repeated by Danedream in 2011. These results undoubtedly contributed to the Grosser Preis von Baden ́s becoming a qualifying race for the Breeders Cup Turf (November 1st in Santa Anita). The winner is automatically entered for the race without having to pay either the normal 90,000$ entry fee or transport costs. And the same goes for the Japan Cup at the end of November in Tokyo. The Grosser Preis von Baden is currently rated among the top fifty Group One races worldwide, and is officially the third best race in Europe over the classic distance of one and a half miles.
New mood of invigoration at Baden-Baden
Racing in the U.K. has its highlight Royal Ascot, in France there is the big Deauville meeting and in Germany the “Grosse Woche” at Baden-Baden! Every one of the seven days offers high class sport with international fields. Although the prize-money in Baden-Baden cannot compete with the top British and French races, there are many other advantages here to even things out. Managing partner Dr. Benedict Forndran: ”Thanks to the Goldene Peitsche series, to our individual support and hospitality for all foreign owners and trainers, and publications in such media as Jour de Galop, Thoroughbred Daily News (TDN), Racing Post, Paris-Turf, Paulick-Report, CNN etc, the racing at Baden-Baden is squarely in the centre of focus for foreign stables and racing industries. Once a race has reached a certain level of attraction, the entries will follow. This can be seen very clearly from the fact that 40% of the entries for the Longines Grosser Preis von Baden come from abroad.” The president of Baden Racing, Dr. Andreas Jacobs, confirms this, saying: “It is our declared aim to raise public awareness of the international racing at Baden- Baden/Iffezheim, both here and abroad.”