Despite the normally quieter summer season its been a busy week in Italian racing with the usual brilliant efforts of the professionals involved and the equally normal failures of the Italian ministry of Agriculture.On this occasion their inefficiency relates to the Trotting track at Palermo and does not concern “Galoppo” After the excellent performances of Tokyo Gold and Baghed on the international stage Christian Demuro and Gianluca Bietolini teamed up on Wednesday to win the Grand Prix De Vichy (G3) over ten furlongs with Grand Glory. The Olimpic Glory mare came with a sustained run under Junior to win easily. The Roman trainer’s charge previous best efforts came in the Prix De Flor (G3) where she was a good winner and a close sixth in Italy’s most important weight for age race for middle distance fillies the Premio Lydia Tesio(G2,307,000 Euro) when a close up sixth. I suspect the latter race in early November will again be on her agenda.
This weekend will see the opening of the Merano Summer/Autumn season with a two day card the first day with as usual the focus on “Ostacoli” but on Sunday the Maia course will have the first meeting of 2021 where the principle races will be on the flat. Merano is the Italian equivalent of Punchestown or Cheltenham but in late July and August flat racing shares top billing.
On Saturday the feature race is the Premio Giuseppe Chiodini a hurdle over 3300 metres in which Polish and Czech runners will challenge the locals. The Ashley O Leary bred Aventus was a good winner over 3000 metres last week for Paolo Favero but will face stiff competition here from the likes of Passion Return (Kilnamoragh Stud) Blue Kazak (Limetree Stud) and the Czech invader Linovsky. On Sunday there is a really good card featuring the Premio Daniele Porcu for three year olds over eleven furlongs. Top weight is the Kevin Blake bred Alduino Botti trained Sens Of Emperor a filly who once had classic pretensions her best run being third in the Campobello behind Sopran Poseidone. Conquering Eagle is a Lope De Vega colt bred by Ballygallon stud who also has disappointed a little and I feel just might be able to get his career back on track here for Marco Gasparini.
Best race of the weekend however is the Premio Giovanni Borghi over a mile in Varese tonight 21.40. The Handicap Principlale C will be very competitive with the favourite likely to be from Gasparini’s stable. Last years winner Trump’s Magic and City Of Stars bred by the Kennedy family in Down will represent the handicap specialist but will face opposition from Mr Gualano a tough six year old bred by Matt Duffy and the three year old Please Exceed bred by Sean O Sullivan in Cork who earlier in the year after winning the Doria had Parioli pretensions. Other contenders include Sopran Brigida, Affirmative Reply and Directory.
An interesting runner in the two year old debutants race in Merano on Sunday is the Yeomanstown bred Dark Angel colt Tockins trained by Mario Migheli. Amongst the runners are Alsini carrying the legendary Dormello colours of Nearco and Ribot and a Footstepsinthesand filly Lady Of Quality bred by Isabel Haskel De Tomaso of the famous Sports car company.
Merano today first race 15.05, Varese 19.25 Naples 16.25 Tomorrow Merano will begin at 15.15 while Tagliacozzo stages a very interesting card on the sand first race at 15.30 and all live here.