07/03/2008 11:00PM

Invaders hit German Derby


Challengers from England, Ireland, and France will give this year's German Derby a novel international flavor at Hamburg on Sunday when 17 go forward in the $840,000 1 1/2-mile race

King of Rome, trained by Aidan O'Brien, has been installed as the 9-4 favorite off his third-place finish in the listed 1 1/4-mile Hampton Court Stakes at Royal Ascot last month, but the price on this Montjeu colt is deflated by the reputation of his connections.

More intriguing is the Andrew Balding-trained Top Lock. Third in the 1 1/2-mile Group 2 King Edward VII Stakes at the royal meeting, he is proven at the German Derby distance.

Soum, trained in France by Andre Fabre for Baron Georg von Ullmann, won a 1 1/2-mile Chantilly allowance last month and is a Monsun-Darshaan cross, so the distance will be no problem for him.

The three foreign invaders, however, will be running into a strong home defense.

Liang Kay may be the best of them. Bred and owned by Baron von Ullmann's mother at Gestut Schlenderhan, he is a Uwe Ostmann-trained son of Dai Jin, the winner of the 2003 German Derby who, like Liang Kay, prepped for the Derby with a win in the 1 3/8-mile Group 2 Oppenheim-Union-Rennen. Terry Hellier has the ride aboard Liang Kay, the selection, who is 4-1 on the morning line.

Walzertraum will also carry the Schlenderhan colors. A Kentucky-bred son of Rahy trained by Jens Hirschberger, he won the 1 1/4-mile Group 3 Bavarian Classic on June 8 and is picking up the services of jockey Frankie Dettori.