One would have to say that we have enjoyed an eventful first half of 2022 in Italy but with many of the old problems still causing dificulties for everyone in the industry. However there are some causes for optimism such as the improvement in the numbers and quality of stallions standing in the country and the appearance of horses such as Tempesti, Azteco,Cantocorale, Aria Importante and Swipe Up who are well up to high class international standards.
We will start with the sprinters, the three big races the Tudini,Certosa and Bersaglio have all been won by Grizzetti Galoppo through Agiato and Ipompierdiviggiu. We have to continue to rate Agiato as the best sprinter in the country but two three year olds promise to challenge the Bated Breath gelding in the second half of the year.Ghepardo Da Todi(Muhaarar) a three year old colt who was runner up in the Tudini after having run up a four timer. Royal Ashirah is a Hot Streak filly bred by Michael Downey and Peter Kavanagh whom Sebastiano Gueerieri fancied as a guineas candidate but who cleasrly didn’t stay.When brought back to the minimum trip in the Certosa she ran brilliantly to be second to Ipompierdiviggiu. The Kildaragh stud bred Raifan now four is back to his best juvenile form while the Sherdian/Fitzgerald bred Storm Part is very close to the top table. Agiato officially rated 105 RPR 110.
At the mile its the fillies who stand out both at three and older.The Regina Elena was clearly a better race than its colts equivalent the Parioli.It was a pity that Swipe Up didnt go abroad to contest top races over a mile but the temptation of an guineas/oaks double proved too much for EC Racing. I have no doubt they will bring the George Kent bred filly back to the mile for the big autumn events. Nonna Ercolina and Atamisque proved high class fillies at the distance with the latter also running very well in the Oaks. A special mention to the ultra consistent Amalaura, eight races five wins and fourth in the Regina Elena before just getting the better of the Austin Lyons bred Prichi in the Premio Nogara.
The male counterparts have been largely disappointing. Henk Grewe’s See Hector won the Parioli but the form has hardly been franked since. Indeed the only guineas participant who ran well after was last years top juvenile Some Respect who returned to his best form with a coast to coast win in the Premio Estate. Grizzetti Galoppo used the Estate to launch Cantocorale into racings elite in 2021 only time will tell if the Gleneagles colt can enjoy similar success.
Swipe Up officially rated 117 easily the best three year old miler.
The older milers were also dominated by a female a truly brilliant and super consistent animal at her beloved San Siro. Aria Importante was much too good for Telepatic Glances in the Royal Mares before leading from the stalls in the Carlo Vittadini and try as Cima Emergency, Wonnemond and Mordimi did they never got in a blow at Team Botti’s star mare.
Aria Importante 111 the cream of the crop.
The three year old middle distance horses have one Italian colt head and shoulders above the rest. Dormello Olgiata’s son of Albert Dock,Tempesti returned to action in the Premio Brigadier Gerard winning easily before surviving a little scare in the Premio Botticelli.In the Derby a tremendous battle ensued with the German challenger Ardakan who just outstayed Riccardo Santini’s horse. Ardakan had absolutely no luck in running in the German equivalent and it will be interesting to see how they perform in the autumn.The Premio Roma looks Tempesti’s obvious target.
The Turlough Boylan bred Cime Tempestose a good winner of the Gran Premio D’Italia over 2400 metres was winning for the third time in five starts and is one to keep an eye on. Of the fillies Atamisque was just ran out of third in the Oaks behind the very impressive Nachtrose and perhaps 2000 metres could be the Highland Reel’s best trip.
Tempesti 114 is easily the top Italian.
Of the older brigade any horse who brings off the Presidente Della Repubblica/Gran Premio Di Milano double has to be the highest rated. Cantocorale has now won group races at 1600,1800 and 2000 metres and in my opinion is very underrated despite these acheivements. In the Repubblica he easily got the better of the 113 rated Flag’s Up before being too good for the Ambrosiano winner and Prix D’Harcourt runner up Dawn Intello (114) Atzeco was a good winner of the Carlo D’Alessio over 2400 metres but we will keep him for the next segment.
I agree with the Racing Post here Cantocorale 115.
In the stayers section Atzeco is head and shoulders above everything else. In his last four races he has won the St Leger(3000 metres),Roma Vecchia(2800m), the Carlo D’Alessio(2400m) and now the Coppa D’Oro(3000m).Simply a superb racehorse. I find it very disappointing that Team Botti are not going to challenge for the big stayers events in France but perhaps they know best.
Atzeco 110 but we dont know how good he can be.
On the jumps front once again Josef Vana Junior and the Scuderia Aichner’s two great chasers L’Estran and Notti Magiche have given us great entertainment. On the hurdling front the loss of Live Your Life is a big blow to Raffaele Romano but Skins Rock and Mauricius will battle it out in September to be crowned with his title.
At June 30 Alduino Botti led the trainers with 91 winners worth just shy of €1.15 million plus €600,000(total €1.75m) in premiums. Ec Racing had 63 winners worth €644,000 and € 417000 in premiums (total €1.06m) and Grizzetti Galoppo completed the podium with 47 winners worth 628,000 plus €418,000 in premiums (total € 1.04m).Over jumps Josef Vana Jr is ahead on €363,643 with just shy of €250,000 in premiums.
Champion Dario Vargiu just leads the jockeys title race with 72 winners from Dario Di Tocco on 70, Carlo Fiocchi third on 54 three ahead of Salvatore Sulas on 51.
Irish breds enjoyed a terrific weekend with no less than fifteen winners between Friday and Sunday including going through the card at Tagliacozzo. The Brickfield Stud/Durcan bloodstock bred Sopran Kalypso (Harzand) won the big race of the weekend for Grizzetti Galoppo the Premio Mario Benetti (HPC 2250m).Walter Gambarota carrying only 53.5 kilos simply demolished the field leading from the start and finishing 4 and a half lengths clear of Sadalsuud at the line.
Racing this week will be at Varese on Tuesday featuring the Premio Guido Ermoli(HPC 1500m), Sassari on Wednesday, Corridonia on Thursday, Follonica on Friday, Varese,Siracusa and Naples on Saturday.
The Agnano track will have its big day on Saturday featuring the Citta Di Napoli (HPA 1000m), The Premio Soragna (HPB 1800m) and the Premio Mergellina (2000m).Siracusa also hosts a HPC on Saturday the Premio Nastro D’Oro Di Sicilia over 2100m. On Sunday we will enjoy cards at Tagliacozzo and Livorno.
VIDEO: The Brickfield stud/Durcan bloodstock bred Sopran Kalypso wins the Premio Benetti