After last weekend’s tremendous excitement the Italian racing scene will be a little more tranquil this weekend. The Mediterraneo racecourse in Siracusa will indeed be tranquil on Saturday as the meeting has been cancelled but the surrounds certainly will not, due to a conflict between the racecourse and owners and trainers.Ippomed the company running the course increased the monthly charges per horse from €75 to €112 without consultation. The owners decided not to declare any runners for Saturdays meeting but now at least both sides are talking. Ippomed claim that at €2.50 per day per horse a price that not changed since 1995 is now unsustainable. A pity both sides did not sit down before the cancellation of Saturdays meeting but hopefully a quick resolution is found.
In last weekend’s review we alluded to the fact that over the years Bruno Grizzetti’s runners show substantial improvement after their seasonal debuts. We have to note however that three of the Varese trainers second season debutants had promising wins over the last few days. Come On Captain made his debut at San Siro winning comfortably from more experienced animals in the Premio Gerecon over 1200 metres. Leonardo Ciampoli bought the son of Acclamation from Noel O Callaghann’s Mount Armstrong Stud for 24,000 guineas and it looks like he has got a bargain. He is out of one of the famous “Alexander” mares this one a Dylan Thomas named Dylan Alexander. By far the easiest to back of the trio was Chelsea Gardens by Acclamation’s Son Aclaim who is doing very well in Italy. Tuileries the dam is a daughter of the Galileo mare Toi Et Moi a dual listed winner in France.Chelsea Gardens won the Premio Angelo Gardenenghi from Alduino Botti’s Rock Life with Full Drago’s full brother Train Drago finishing well to take third.
Perhaps the most impressive of all was Tramaglino in the Premio Razza Di Besnate over 2000 metres. Favourite here was Team Botti’s highly regarded son of Highland Reel Armandino but he could not peg back the front running son of Albert Dock and Torrechiara who was an easy three and a half lengths winner from Dario Vargiu’s mount. Albert Dock is a stallion making a big name for himself with limited numbers.The son of Deep Impact a seven time group 1 winner in Japan and international superstar is out of the Group 1 winning mare Golden Dock A who won the the Las Virgenes Stakes (G1) and was also runner up in the Santa Anita Oaks (G1). Albert Dock was a dual group 3 winner himself in Japan and with his first crop has the Derby Italiano ante post favourite Tempesti and perhaps Tramaglino might progress enough to also start on May 22. I am sure the Deep Impact stallion is going to be a lot busier at the Besnate Stud in Varese.The other stallions at Besnate include Arcano, Adaay,Mukhadraam, Pounced,Wooton’s Colt and Tuscan Gaze.
On Tuesday Luigi Di Dio’s Mastercraftsman filly Romagna Mia was an easy winner of the first Oaks D’Italia trial the Premio Altedo over 1900 metres. Bred by Cavendish Bloodstock she had 3 and a quarter lengths to spare on Wintry Flower with the Premio Dormello third Terra Del Sole (bred by Cloneymore Farm Athboy conceding six pounds) a further two lengths back. The first three I am sure will all appear in another trial before the Oaks on June 19. Today in Rome Royal Ashirah bred by Michael Downey and Peter Kavanagh last years quickest juvenile filly showed she has trained on well winning the Premio Torre Astura over 1200 metres conceding three kilos to the runner up La Cortigiana (bred by the National Stud in Kildare).We can look forward to a big battle when Purciaretta (Bred by Paddy Burns Glacken View Stud Bunclody) and Sebastiano Guerrieri’s filly meet.
For many the best racing this weekend is over the obstacles at San Siro on Sunday with the highlight being the three year old novice hurdle the Premio Primi Salti over 3200 metres. For the first time we will see no less than three Scuderia Aichner horses trained by Raffaele Romano in Brescia. Almost all of the Aichner horses were trained by Josef Vana Junior so an interesting development. From the Czech Republic Ludvik Haris challenges with the French bred Kaspianne and from Poland Robert Swiatek sends Pope to make it an international event .From Jockey arrangements the Aichner/Romano team seem to favour Che Pazienza a seven furlong winner at Milan and Paolo Favero’s first choice seems to be the Rathasker Stud bred Berkshire Phoenix. But a wide open contest that will give us clues to the Berlingieri (G2) in late April.
The Great Notti Magiche winner of sixteen races worth €350,000 four of whom four were group 1 chases,at the venerable age of 12 begins his cross country career. The son of Montjeu was last seen when fourth in the Gran Premio Di Merano in September and no matter how ring rusty should be able to win the opener although Aldo Locatelli’s Power Zar is no slouch in these contests. The 3600 metre chase gives Vana Juniors Beau Saonois a chance to win his eight race whilst the Mario Rocca hurdle is a wide open contest with Czech and Polish runners challenging the home team.
On Saturday in the Premio Stagione San Siro Galoppo for older females we will see the return of the Oaks D’Italia runner up Cima Star. The daughter of Sea The Stars finished the season with a fourth place in the Lydia Tesio behind stablemate Sopran Basilea and normally she would be odds on to win here but as we said earlier Bruno Grizzetti’s horses tend to need a run before being at their best so the race fit duo of Burratina and Thunder Panther are obvious contenders. The former a winner at Pisa in December made a winning French raid for Francesco Santella at Lyon while Agostino Affe’s Kilcock bred daugther of Night Of Thunder is arguably the toughest female handicapper in the country with wins in the Premio Andred and Premio Madonnina.The Boland/Harvey bred had a blow out in mid March behind Telepatic Glances. Rose Secret a four time listed winner and the No Nay Never filly Aconcagua will also have their followers.
The Premio Sirmione over 1800 metres attracts some Derby hopefuls and is an intriquing contest. Four of the seven runners are unbeaten including for many Roberto Biondi’s biggest classic hope Que Tempesta (Territories – Tipperary Boutique) who was bred by the Lillingston families Mount Coote Stud. Alessio Satta’s mount has won both of his starts over this course and distance the second of which saw him get the better of Lord Sakay with one of today’s opponents Cime Tempestose (bred by Turlough Boylan) third. Lord Sakay certainly gave that form a boost in the Calvairate last weekend. Dario Vargiu will ride Lucrezio a son of Pounced and a Group 3 winner while Italian King bred by Ciaran Conway’s Glenvale Stud will have the inform Stefano Saiu in the saddle. Another interesting runner is Dormello’s Breughel a once raced half brother to Badram by Night Of Thunder who won easily at Pisa over a mile in February, whilst the Oasis Dream colt Di Piu won here in November. Easily the most experienced runner is Beautiful Black who however usually finds one or two too good.
VIDEO: Royal Ashirah bred by Michael Downey and Peter Kavanagh wins the Premio Torre Astura today