In a week when a serious bill for the reform of the Horse Racing sector was circulated in the Italian Senate we have a relatively quiet weekend on the track before the Summer/Autumn’s season begins to ratchet up in a huge way from August 15 onwards. That is not to say there isn’t interesting racing for there are excellent cards in Merano and Tagliacozzo plus Deauville has a top class two year old stakes race with big Italian interest on Saturday.
The Prix De La Valee D’Auge (LR 60,000 euro 2yo) over 1000m (five furlongs) at Deauville is a very hot race. The favourite will be Wesley Ward’s Queen Mary(G2) runner up Twilight Gleaming who tomorrow will have Frankie Dettori in the saddle. The Pier House bred filly only found Quick Suzy too good at Ascot and has an obvious chance. Delmona (Ballyhane Stud) a winner at Bath and then third in the G3 Princess Margareth Keeneland stakes is another with chances as is the Tally Ho bred Papa Don’t Preach runner up in the Prix Yacowlef (LR) before finishing fifth in the Prix Robert Papin (G2) behind Atomic Force and Baghed. Third in the Yacowlef was Royal Ashirah who had previously won the Premio Alessandro Perrone (LR) at Rome from Lollipop Girl. The Peter Kavanagh/Michael Downey bred filly found the very soft going hard work and even though tomorrow will be good to soft it should help as should Cristian Demuro in the saddle. Filly Of Malta the Ogden Hill Stud bred filly who won first time out at Siracusa and was sold for 150,000 Euro is another interesting candidate.
Merano’s eight race mixed card of flat, jumping and Arab racing has lots of highlights. On the flat the Premio Ore a Handicap Principale C for three year olds over eleven furlongs is a very open contest. Capotempesta (Fulbright-Gemma’s Pearl) bred by Robert Berns was a good second in Milan over ten furlongs in June to Ariadeno. The Luciano Vitabile trained colt is 3.5 kgs better off for a half a length and should turn the tables. Global Hero a course and distance winner last month is an obvious candidate as is bottom weight Jacaranda third in a similar contest in Varese over 2250 metres. Alduino Botti runs top weight Crebillon and Rainmaker and only the naive would rule them out.
The jumping highlight is undoubtedly the reappearance of Gangster De Coddes in the Premio Vincenzo Pollio steeplechase over 3,800 metres (2 miles 3 furlongs) The Josef Vana Junior trained Secret Singer gelding was a spectacular winner of the Group 2 Premio Ezio Vanoni over course and distance in June. The Aichner owned five year old is considered to be a future champion by connections and a possible successor to the great L’Estran winner of the last two Gran Premio Di Merano’s the Italian Gold Cup. I don’t see anything in this field to trouble him but have a look at this exciting horse at 17,25 on Sunday. The video of the Ezio Vanoni is below.
The premio Bolzano over a mile and a half has some decent staying types. Sonniende a five year old son of Sound Of Desert is a candidate for most improved horse of the year and already has four wins under his belt this year three of them at 2600 metres.These victories has seen a big rise in the weights and he will carry 63 kgs (9 stone 13) just a pound less than Francesca Turri’s Catterpillar last year’s winner of the Premio Monterosa the premier handicap over 3000 metres. Ballyhane stud bred the five year old mare Riana who in receipt of almost two stone from the top two might just cause a surprise. The daughter of Red Jazz won two good races in Milan in the Autumn over 12 and 15 furlongs. Another to a keep an eye on is the Dr Devious colt Heartofthesea.
Tagliacozzo stages a delightful meeting on Sunday with the highlight being the Gran Premio Citta De Tagliacozzo (17.45) a 2150 metre handicap on the sand. Fourteen line up eight of them Irish bred including the likely favourite the Tally Ho bred Prisoner Of Love (Morpheus-Treacle Noir) a three year old who has been running in top company.Last time out he was unplaced in the Gran Premio D’Italia and previously he was second in a Handicap Principale B in Rome both over twelve furlongs. Endo Botti sends the Cape Blanco gelding Zollikon from Pisa while Alberto Oppes sends two challengers from Sardinia Arboc De L’Alguer a Henrythenavigator colt bred by Thomas J Murphy and Jllary a War Command filly bred by Lisieux Stud. Infinity Focus a winner in Rome bred by John O Connor and the Michael Phelan bred light weight Estremoz are others with a chance.
The Abruzzo track has two good juvenile races, the Criterium Femminile for fillies over 1350 metres. Lady Arcana a Arcano filly who is two from three and whose only defeat came when third to Baghed will start favourite for the all conquering Guerrieri/Cascione team who also run the Patrick Headon bred Transylvania who won on her debut in Naples and then was second in a good conditions race. Verba Volant a recent course winner bred by Northern Bloodstock in Lisburn and the El Kabeir filly Sa Filonzana bred by Natalie Cleary are not to be discounted. The colts race is over a mile and once again the Roman team will take all the beating with Freschezza a Kodi Bear colt bred by Michael J Enright who has won over six furlongs in Rome and seven in Naples. Gabriele Cannarella has been in great form for Guerrieri and others and is a serious challenger for the Jockeys title with fifty five winners four behind Salvatore Sulas and two off Mario Sanna.
All can be seen live here on www.italianhorseracing.com
VIDEO: Gangster de Coddes wins the group 2 Premio Ezio Vanoni