Pastorius is owned and was bred by Prinz Franz von Auersperg whose family have been part of high society in Vienna since 1640 – Auersperg is an ancient principality that is part of modern-day Slovenia.
Von Auersperg is the son of world famous dressage trainer Prince Karl von Auersperg. He is a successful businessman who followed 25 years in the music industry (where he promoted European tours by the likes of Bob Dylan and Nirvana) with his current involvement in TV and film production – the $40 million grossing 2005 picture ‘Thank You For Smoking’ is his biggest success in that field.
Pastorius is the third foal of Princess Li, a Monsun mare who was the first horse von Auersperg ever owned – he was bought out of a claimer for 14,000 euros in 2004. She is still the only mare that he owns and in May 2013 gave birth to a full brother to Pastorius.
Pastorius was a very useful two-year-old, winning at Group 3 level, but he began his three-year-old career with a pair of poor efforts so when he lined up for the German Derby at Hamburg in July 2012 he was an unconsidered 31-1 chance.
However, despite drifting so far to his left that he ended up racing alone on the outside rail, he got up close home to beat Novellist by half a length. He proved Derby victory was no fluke with a brilliant eight length score against older horses in a Munich Group 1.
He completed his 2012 season with a Berlin Group 3 win and by making the frame in races won by two of the all-time greats, Danedream and Frankel.
His big international breakthrough triumph came in the Prix Ganay at Longchamp in Paris on his 2013 seasonal debut. He was then adversely affected by the humid climate when running poorly in Singapore.