A new contender emerged for next month's German Derby as Laccario defeated the Australian-owned Django Freeman in Monday's €70,000 (approximately A$114,000) Group 3 Union-Rennen (2200m) at Cologne.
The Andreas Wohler-trained Laccario ($3.40) settled second under Eduardo Pedroza and stalked tearaway leader Sibelius ($28) before moving into the lead with 400 metres remaining, not going around another runner on the way to victory.
Django Freeman ($3.10 favourite) settled third last in the 10-horse field, as per his usual racing style for regular rider Lukas Delozier, and attacked the line strongly for second to finish 2.5 lengths behind Laccario.
Betting for the €650,000 G1 German Derby (2400m) at Hamburg on July 7 was reshuffled after the Union-Rennen, considered the main domestic German Derby lead-up race, with Laccario promoted to $3.20 favourite with RaceBets ahead of Quest The Moon at $3.50. Django Freeman drifted from $4.50 to $5.50 third favourite.
Django Freeman, who defeated Quest The Moon in his only other run this year in May's G3 Bavarian Classic (2000m) at Munich, will head straight to the German Derby.
The Campanologist colt will depart Germany and the stables of Henk Grewe following the Derby, which will be his sixth start overall. Django Freeman will then join two-time Melbourne Cup-winning trainer Robert Hickmott.
Bloodstock agent Suman Hedge led a consortium of owners to purchase a 50 per cent stake in Django Freeman last December.
Hedge was also behind the purchase of German-bred stayer Schabau, who is currently sidelined after sustaining a tendon injury in March.