Italian Galoppo fans have been looking forward since the Premio Primi Passi to see the Champion two year old elect Windstormblack (photograph above) challenge for the Prix Robert Papin(G2) in Chantilly.The Bated Breath colt was a five length winner from Vincenzo Fazio’s Baghed in the fastest time for twenty years and the old Italian cry when a top horse was exciting the public was being heard “Andiamo a Parigi” Lets go to Paris. Sadly however the Guerrieri/Cascione team finally gave in to one of the multiple offers landing on their doorstep. Marco Bozzi organized the sale to Hong Kong owner Wong Long Sau Hing and the colt will now be trained by Tony Cruz.Figures with seven figures are being mentioned. Once again we can see the financial power of racing in the Far East. So only Baghed will lead the Italian challenge on Sunday and with all respect to the son of Twilight Son hopes are substantially diminished. Cima Star ran well on the heavy ground in Chantilly when three lengths off the winner in the Prix Malleret (G2) over twelve furlongs. Gerard Mosse brought the Sea The Stars filly to win the race two furlongs down but I think she just didn’t see out the mile and a half on such heavy ground but showed the Oaks D’Italia form is not bad. A promising Autumn campaign lies ahead for “Grizzly” Grizzetti’s filly.
The best card of this weekend is at the Ippodromo Mediterraneo in Siracusa on Sunday evening where the highlight will be the Premio Citta Di Siracusa 9.10 pm a handicap principale B over a mile. The Sicilian meeting has six races with sixty seven runners of whom no less than forty one are Irish bred a quite amazing statistic. The Citta Di Siracusa is a very competitive handicap with a number of races as key pointers. Axcelerator the top weight is a son of Excelebration who was a winner for Alduino Botti before moving to France winning three races and in 2021 joining Sebastiano Cannavo. In the Premio Tommy Wade over course and distance he was a three length winner from Thrifty One with Swift Approval fourth. Thrifty One (Dawn Approach-Maoineach) is twelve pounds better off and the Jim Bolger bred is a clear candidate. Maoineach was a winner of the Group three Round Tower stakes(G3) as is her best son to date New Treasure third in this years UAE Derby(G2). Swift Approval eighty seven races, eleven wins in five countries is beginning to show signs he is getting a little tired of the game but at the weights the Jean Brennan bred gelding can’t be ruled out. Siciliano Bello won the Premio Beatrice Adams over 1500 metres last time out. The Michael Maher bred had Murdanova back in third with Letojanni fourth. Murdanova bred by John Lyons is now ten pounds better in but the surprise could come from the Seamus Mcmullan bred Letojanni on only fifty kilos but a good course and distance winner in May. The only three year old is Chemeh bred by Mountain View and Tally Ho .The Mehmas colt was an excellent winner of the Premio Teatro Greco (HPC) over course and distance in June. Favourite is lightly to be Perego who has been running well over longer trips. In a truly intriquing race I think Chemeh, Letojanni and Thrifty One have really good chances to cause a surprise.
The Criterium Aretuseo (HPC) is for three year olds over ten furlongs(20.35).Adaay Secret is a worthy top weight and will have many supporters as will Charlie’s Jamboree, Brasilian Jet and Deron Kit but keep an eye on two lightly raced Irish breds. Mission Accomplise a son of Shalaa bred by Mattock stud was a good winner in Rome and finished fourth in the Premio Sicilia. Tayky bred by Fontstown stud has only three races under his belt but has improved in each one and carries a mere fifty two kilos.
The Premio Il Trono Di Spade for two year olds over 1500 metres sees two Rathasker stud contenders both progeny of Anjaal now standing in Italy. Bright Fountain and Rose Zahr have chances as do other Irish breds Amoazzura (Slade Power), Apollo Gleam( Mehmas)and Nikitas (Cotai Glory) but my idea of the winner is Lady Affaire a seven furlong scorer on her second start. Affaire Solitaire her sire is perhaps the most expensive in Italy right now and this filly is one of his first crop winners. Varese on Saturday features another two year old race the Premio Gianclemente Terzaghi also over 1500 metres. Beautiful Black a winner in Milan and sixth in the Primi Passi behind Windstormblack and Baghed will be favourite but both Alduino Botti and Bruno Grizzetti will have lightly raced challengers.
Jumping resumes at Merano after a fortnight with two interesting handicap chases as my highlights.The Premio Alpha Two (named after the dual Gran Premio Di Merano winner) is over two miles and has the Premio Ezio Vanoni(G2) third Lady Minx as top weight. The Raffaele Romano trained mare is giving Theresie three kilos and that might enable the daugther of Footstepsinthesand to claim the prize although Overly Sweet cannot be forgotten. The Premio Jean D’Amour named after another winner of Merano’s great prize is over two miles and three and could be a battle between Romano’s Mensch a winner over a furlong shorter last time out and Fly Filo Fly and Andoins from Josef Vana senior and junior respectively. You can watch all the action from all four weekend cards here as well as Chantilly on Sunday. Below centre is Windstormblack’s new owner Wong Laung Sau Hing.