Starting youngsters: “They’re very intelligent, well-balanced horses” - Hinnerk Hueppe

7 min read
With the 2-year-old races not far away, TDN AusNZ will chat to some of Australasia’s leading race education and pre-training experts, with a view to getting an insight into the next generation of emerging talent.

Cover image courtesy of Hannover Lodge

Hinnerk Hueppe has long had a love for horses. As a boy in his native Germany, he competed in showjumping at a high level. Upon completing school, he continued to ride while completing a degree in business economics, as well as a butchers’ apprenticeship, which was the family trade.

In 2009, Hueppe embarked on a great adventure, moving to Australia as a backpacker. He picked up at Oaks Sport Horses, breeders of quality international jumping horses, and rode trackwork at the renowned Wild Oaks pre-training facility. Hueppe’s passion and expertise shone through and he was later promoted to a management position.

Fast Forward to 2017 and Hueppe had his own business – Hannover Lodge – a 120-acre thoroughbred facility based in Wilberforce, about an hour out of Sydney. Respecting his family origins, Hueppe named the property as a tribute to his birthplace Hannover, Germany. Hannover Lodge offers a range of services, including pre-training and education, spelling, rehabilitation and Ready To Race and sales preparation.

Hinnerk Hueppe | Image courtesy of Hannover Lodge

Hueppe and his team pride themselves on the quality of care and attention paid to each horse that comes onto the property. He is adamant that happy horses are always better athletes.

Since opening the gates, Hueppe has established a strong client base that includes Peter and Paul Snowden, Duncan Ramage, John Thompson, John Sargent, Mick Price and Michael Kent Jnr, Capri Racing and Tricolours Racing.

“We are loyal to our clients and normally break in around 100 horses. We always have around 50-60 in work and probably 70-80 spellers, depending on the time of year,” Hueppe told TDN AusNZ.

“My main clients are Peter and Paul Snowden and Duncan Ramage.”

California Zimbol, winner of the G3 Maurice McCarten S. | Image courtesy of Bronwen Healy

One of the most talented gallopers Hueppe has worked with was California Zimbol (I Am Invincible). Trained by the Snowdens, she had 16 starts, winning six times and placing on four occasions. California Zimbol was a four-time stakes winner and banked $562,500 in prizemoney.

“We do all of the ‘California’ horses in Australia until they go overseas or are traded,” Hueppe said.

“She was one that really stood out.”

The new brigade

Hueppe has enjoyed another busy year since the Magic Millions Coast Yearling Sale in January and has enjoyed working with a number of youngsters that are by sires that are soon to have their first runners.

Like Blair Richardson, who we spoke to as part of this series recently, the German is a big fan of Arrowfield Stud resident The Autumn Sun, who had 102 live foals in his first season.

The Autumn Sun | Standing at Arrowfield Stud

“His progeny strikes me as late 2-year-olds or early 3-years-olds. Scope horses, more like a Northern Meteor was,” Hueppe explained.

“They’re very intelligent, well-balanced horses. They have good brains and by that, I mean they seem mentally mature. They handle the pressure very well.

“I found with most of them, they are very class individuals.”

“They’re (The Autumn Sun's progeny) very intelligent, well-balanced horses. They have good brains and by that, I mean they seem mentally mature. They handle the pressure very well.” - Hinnerk Hueppe

Hueppe was particularly taken by a The Autumn Sun colt from Madam Tracy (Encosta De Lago), who hails from a famous family. Bred by Element Hill, he was a member of their draft at the 2022 Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale, where he was bought by DGR Thoroughbred Services (FBAA) and Mick Price Racing and Breeding Pty Ltd for $280,000.

“He was one that I really liked, he seems like he could be an early type,” said Hueppe.

“He was very easy to work with and by that mean mentally quite mature. He struck me as a very intelligent and forward-thinking animal, which I appreciate and really like in a racehorse.

The Autumn Sun x Madam Tracy (colt) | Image courtesy of Magic Millions

“He handled the work quite easily and he was continually improving, which is a good sign.

“It just came naturally to him.”

The unnamed colt is a half-sister to six-time Group 1 heroine and Australian Horse of the Year, Typhoon Tracy (Red Ransom {USA}), and a three-quarter sister to Lake Superior (Encosta De Lago), the dam of multiple Group 1 winner Alligator Blood (All Too Hard).

The colt’s second dam, Tracy’s Element (Last Tycoon {Ire}), was the Champion 2-Year-Old Filly and Older Classic Mare in South Africa. She is a sister to Group 3 winner Towkay, and half-sister to Group 1 winner Danasinga, Group 2 winner Topasannah (Ire) (Commanche Run {GB}) and dual Group 3 winner Cullen.

Harry leaves his mark

Another young sire Hueppe has high hopes for is Darley’s shuttle stallion Harry Angel (Ire). The multiple Group 1 winner had 92 live foals in his first season in Australia.

Harry Angel (Ire) | Standing at Darley

“His progeny seems to be scopey, strong horses, both the fillies and colts. It will be interesting to see how they perform,” Hueppe commented.

“There’s nothing negative I can mention about them. They’re straightforward and maybe, like The Autumn Sun, they might be late 2-year-olds or early 3-year-olds in Australia.

“He’s certainly throwing a nice type and very correct horses, which I like to see. As a style of horse and type, he’s probably a horse that I’d be interested in breeding to in terms of the type of horse he throws; it’s a very athletic and strong-looking individual.”

“His (Harry Angel's) progeny seems to be scopey, strong horses, both the fillies and colts. It will be interesting to see how they perform.” - Hinnerk Hueppe

A filly full of promise

Hueppe educated just one yearling by Coolmore shuttler Saxon Warrior (Jpn), who had 51 live foals in his first season in Australia, and he liked what he saw.

The filly is from Smart Company (Mister C {USA}) and is a half-sister to Group 2 winner Valentia. Offered by Coolmore Stud at the Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale, she was purchased by Myrtle House and Edward Cummings for $100,000.

Smart Company herself is a sister to stakes winners Super Elegant, Elegancy and Mister Elegant.

Saxon Warrior (Jpn) x Smart Company (filly) | Image courtesy of Magic Millions

“She was one of my favourites,” Hueppe expressed. "There’s something about her, she’s such a kind and smart horse.

“She’s one of those that falls a bit under the radar, physically, but anything you throw at her she deals with. She copes with it all.

“She’s (Saxon Warrior x Smart Company) one of those that falls a bit under the radar, physically, but anything you throw at her she deals with. She copes with it all.” - Hinnerk Hueppe

“I keep telling Edward (Cummings) it’s his wildcard for the season; I think she could really surprise him. Physically, she could be an early type.

“I hope she’s not too nice and has that competitive streak in her, and I suspect she will for the reason that her temperament allows her to conserve any bit of energy and be relaxed and calm enough to be performing when you ask her to.”

Saxon Warrior (Jpn) | Standing at Coolmore

Another Arrowfield ace?

The Autumn’s Sun’s Arrowfield Stud barnmate, Showtime, has received high praise since his progeny hit the ground.

A Group 2-winning son of Snitzel, Showtime had 90 live foals during his first season.

Standing for just $11,000 (inc GST), he had a filly make $230,000 at the Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale and a colt fetch $200,000 at the Inglis Classic Yearling Sale.

Showtime | Standing at Arrowfield Stud

Hueppe has worked with a number of Showtime’s progeny and he couldn't be more impressed.

“I have a leaning to the fillies, because he seems to be throwing a strong horse, a well-built horse. I really like that in a filly, because if you have a filly that lacks a bit of strength and depth, it’s hard to keep them working, because obviously you can’t feed them and keep them strong enough to get the work into them,” he said.

“They seem to be nice horses that have a good stride on them.”

Starting Youngsters
The Autumn Sun
Harry Angel
Saxon Warrior
Hinnerk Hueppe
Hannover Lodge