Bruno Grizzetti and Aidan Sexton the Rome champions

A truly marvellous days racing at Capannelle with a big crowd and some top class performances.The Roman track is now showing the signs of wear and tear from a long season exacberated by taking up the slack of San Siro’s big autumn prizes.Skalleti was the star equine performer but Bruno Grizzetti with a big race treble the Italian hero of the hour and Aidan Sexton the Irish star breeder of the day.

The Premio Lydia Tesio is Italy’s principle all age race for females over 2000 metres €277,500. Grizzetti ran his two fillies Sopran Basile and Cima Star who have contested all the big fillies middle distance races all season with Fabio Branca choosing the latter and Carlo Fiocchi renewing the partnership that won the Premio Verziere(G3).Oaks winner Eulaila and Santa Rita completed the home defence.Eudaimonia five times a winner in France and most recently third in the group 1 Prix De L’Opera on Arc day led the French challenge and Amazing Grace a group 2 winner over the distance the German duo.Eulaila set a strong gallop from the start but quickly folded when challenged by Amazing Grace,Eudaimonia and Cima Star.For a few strides it looked like Branca had made the right choice as the Sea The Stars filly hit the front but on the heavy going the French mare fought back only for Carlo Fiochhi as he did in the Verziere to pounce late on Sopran Basilea who won by a cosy three quarters of a length with Amazing Grace depriving Cima Star of third by a nose.Sopran Basilea (Night Of Thunder-Kathy Best(Kings Best-Kate Guest) is owned by Leonardo Ciampoli a big supporter of Irish breeding. From a tremendous family she was unraced at two and has had a remarkable rivalry with her stablemate Cima Stars since they both made their debut on March 14.She gave best that day but quickly won her maiden and then the main Oaks trial The Mario Incisa before finishing fourth in the classic behind Eulaila and Cima Star.On her autumn return she won the Verziere from Cima Star and yesterday confirmed the quality of an exceptional group of three year old fillies.

Skalleti is one of the best horses in Europe over ten furlongs especially with a little bit of cut in the ground.Already the winner of two group 1 races this year and runner up in the 2020 Champion stakes he repeated his 2019 Premio Roma(€231,550) win yesterday under Antonio Orani who two weeks ago steered Road To Arc to victory in the Jockey Club.Now winner of seventeen of his twenty three starts the son of Keydargent has won almost €1.1 million in prizemoney and has a top official rating of 121.Flags Up ran a tremendous race under Dario Vargiu to be a two lengths second with the Mulryans Brentford Hope three and a half lengths back in third with the Coupe Des Maisons Lafitte winner Dawn Intello occupying the same place he did in the 2020 Prix Du Jockey Club behind Mishriff. Flags Up winner of the Premio Scheibler and the Filiberto both over ten furlongs is Italy’s best three year old over the distance and gained an OR of 114 yesterday.

Italy’s best three year old miler is Cantocorale who put up a tremendous performance in the Premio Ribot under Branca.The son of Helmet sweated up heavily in the preliminaries but simply cruised to victory from last years winner Fulminix with the Michael Mcglynn bred Frozen Juke deadheating with Wonnemond for third. 2019 German horse of the year Rubaiyat recent winner of the Vittorio Di Capua could not cope when Branca made use of Grizzeti’s colts superior stamina.Cantocorale if he continues to improve at four will be aimed at some of Europes top mile races and maybe could get further.

The Varese trainers great day got even better when Agiato as we suspected on the heavy ground got the better of The Conqueror in the Premio Aloisi.Royal Mehmas bred by Paul and Billy Mcenery was best of the three year olds just a short head off the old champion.Agiato on this type of ground is a serious sprinter and the son of Bated Breath could be aimed at next years L’Abbaye and why not as the gelding was equally impressive in the Omenoni over the minimum trip last time out and was much too good for Ponntos who was close in the Parisian race.

Ardakan was an easy winner of the two year old Guido Berardelli over 1800 metres but I feel it wasn’t a particularly good edition of a race that often gives us clues to the Derby Italiano.Nevertheless the son of French Derby winner Reliable Man could only beat what was put in front of him which he did with consummate ease.

Purciaretta a daughter of Cotai Glory trained by Endo Botti and bred by the Glacken View stud in Bunclody was an equally comfortable winner of the Divino Amore over the minimum trip.I would imagine that we will not see the juvenile filly again until next spring but she has great promise covering the five furlongs here in 56.9 seconds on heavy ground.
Livorno after a five year closure opened again today.The Tuscan track has eight dates before the year end which is very positive news.The Agnano track in Naples began its winter programme today.

Racing this week is

Tuesday Rome and Varese
Wednesday Milan and Villacidro
Thursday Pisa
Friday Treviso(NH)
Saturday Milan and Siracusa
Sunday Rome and Pisa
Monday Naples and Villacidro

Highlights this week are one of Italy’s great traditional races in San Siro on Saturday the Premio Chiusura over seven furlongs and two top juvenile races in Rome on Sunday the Criterium Femminile for fillies and the Premio Rumon for colts.San Rossore in Pisa will have two handicap principale’s on Sunday as will Milan on Saturday.

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