As the flat racing season across most of Europe begins to close down Italy is reaching in many ways the most important month of the year.Irish bred horses are enjoying a big part of this peak time with no less than twenty four winners between friday and monday having been bred in the emerald isle.
The trainers and jockeys titles still have two and a half months to go with an exciting four way battle for the Frustino D’Oro.( The Golden whip) On Monday Salvatore Sulas leads on 84 winners with Gabriele Cannarella on 79,Mario Sanna on 74 with defending champion Dario Vargiu on 71.Vargiu has missed six weeks of the season and still is slight favourite to retain his title although the Alduino Botti team have not been in their usually dominant form recently. Nevertheless neither Bruno Grizzetti or Endo Botti second and third on the trainers table are going to challenge the perennial Italian champion trainer even though the Varese based master is in a very good moment.
Irish breeding can be particularly proud of the nine strong field for the Premio Ubaldo Pandolfi all carrying the IRE label with three of them coming from different strands of the Lyons family in Summerhill.However main honours went to Royal Ashirah(Hot Streak-Royal Visit(Kings Best) trained in Rome by the Sebastiano Guerrieri/Melania Cascione team and bred by Michael Downey and Kildaragh Stud.Bought for 13,000 guineas at Tattersalls Royal Ashirah won her first two starts in Italy including the listed Alessandro Perrone before running well at the Deauville festival being third to the Queen Mary runner up Twilight Gleaming.She clearly loved being back in Capannelle and had a half length to spare on stablemate Transylvania(Patrick Headon) with Elzamina(Helen Lyons) a nose away in third and Azul Bahia(Ringfort stud) fourth.Thats it for the season for Royal Ashirah whose half brother by Tasleet made 75,000 guineas at Tattersalls.Many of the others will no doubt be seen in the Premio Divino Amore (1000m) on Rome’s champions day on November7.
The other important two year old race on the card the Premio Le Marmore over 1800 metres also went to Guerrieri and Willy Wonka (Estidhkaar-Ivy Batty(Kings Best).Its amazing how often Kings Best appears on the dams side of Italian winners and how appropriate that is.The grey was bred by Gerald Colclough and will now be aimed at the Guido Berardelli over course and distance again on champions day.Its been noteworthy the disappointing form of some of Team Botti’s runners recently none more noteworthy than Caotico hot favourite here.
One Botti horse with no form problems and who loves Capannelle is Happiness Therapy(Pride Of Dubai-Mizayin bred by Anna Giunta).Salvatore Sulas rode the three year old filly to a two length win from the ever consistent Chiaro Di Luna to complete a hat trick with the obvious target now the Premio Buontalenta over course and distance at the end of November.All of Happiness Therapy’s four wins have been in the capital.
Atacama(Zebedee-Trisara) trained by Devis Grilli ridden by the on fire Carlo Fiocchi and bred by Killura Agri in Mallow put herself in the Aloisi picture with a surprise win in the Premio Aringo on friday.The favorites Agiato and Mitrandir could only manage third and fourth.
A massive week ahead with racing on
Tuesday Rome and Sassari
Saturday Pisa and Siracusa
Sunday Rome Merano and
Capannelle on Sunday has one of the meetings of the year with a million euro in prizemoney,the two principle two year old races The Gran Criterium for colts and the Premio Dormello for fillies as well as Italy’s premier mile and a half race the Gran Premio Del Jockey club. Throw in a group 3,two listed races and a handicap principale, A meeting not to be missed.Its one of those weekends when many of the exiles return to the old sod and we can expect to see the likes of Frankie Dettori and Cristian Demuro in the saddle and members of the Botti,Bietolini,Cumani families etc also returning to Capannelle this year.
Merano also on Sunday has its final meeting of the year after which the “ostacoli” moves first to Treviso and then Pisa, so lots to look forward to and live here on
VIDEO: Royal Ashirah wins the listed Premio Ubaldo Pandolfi in a field 100% bred in Ireland