We begin this Friday with sad news the passing of Marcello Andreucci one of racings finest jockeys.Andreucci was born in Tarquinia in Lazio on May 17 1931 and rode the winners of approximately 3,000 races including numerous Italian classics plus two of each of the Gran Premio’s Milano,Italia and Jockey Club. Among the best horses he rode were the Arc winner Prince Royal,Tierceron who along with Gay Lussac and Gianfranco Dettori were the protagonists of a huge rivalry in 1972 and Mannsfeld with whom he won the Parioli,the Presidente Della Repubblica and the Eugene Adan in Saint Cloud. After retiring from the saddle he trained for Carlo D’Alessio for a number of years.
Italy also lost its champion sire this week in an accident on a boat to Sardinia. Sakhees Secret was a champion sprinter winner of the July Cup and in 2019 and 2020 champion sire in Italy his best son being the 115 rated miler Out Of Time winner of almost €1 million including Italian breeding premiums. The son of Sakhee will be a big loss to Allevamento Il Grifone who will have a big challnge finding an adequate replacement.
We may be heading for late November but Capannelle is still giving us some terrific racing. This weekend we can enjoy one of the years principle staying races, a top class fillies mile and a handicap principale A in honour of the most important racehorse in history. The Roma Vecchia (LR) over 2800 metres (one mile six furlongs) has attracted a very good field led by three of the first four home in the St Leger, a group 2 winner from Hungary, the winner of the principle Derby trial, the third in the Gran Premio Del Jockey Club and the first two from last year. With fields like this surely even the politicos in Rome and the EPC will begin to see the light on the restoration of races like this to their rightful status. Atzeco asserted the three year olds authority in the St Leger with last years Vecchia winner Unique Diamond three and a quarter lengths away third and Black Menteur a further two and a quarter lengths back fourth.The latter two are now 2.5 kilos better off at the weights and there is a furlong less left to travel but Botti’s charge has more scope for improvement. Tiaspettofuori the winner of the Botticelli one of the main derby trials has found a new lease of life in the Autumn but Devis Grilli’s charge fresh from two excellent wins over 1800 and 1900 metres may find this trip on heavy ground just a little too far.The Hungarian challenger winner of the Budapest Prize(G2) over this trip has Dermot Weld’s influence all over him. Copadelmundo (Mustajeeb-Calibrate) a champion in Hungary is the unknown quantity in this race, both his sire a winner of the Greenland,Jersey and Amethyst stakes and his dam a nine and a half furlong winner at Gowran were trained by the master of Rosewell House .However my idea of the winner is Mooney Love (Australia-Mooney Ridge) a horse bred to be a champion by an Epsom Derby winner out of a sister to four Oaks winners including Sea Of Class. Tore Sulas mount ran his best race yet when third in the Gran Premio Del Jockey Club(G2) behind Road To Arc over 2,400 metres and I think the extra two furlongs will be in his favour and he just might get the better of Dario Vargiu’s Atzeco as both men battle for the jockeys championship.
The Premio Buontalenta (LR1600m) has attracted a field of fourteen from Germany, France and Hungary as well as the home team. It is hard to judge the form of the invaders but I suspect the Italians on this occasion will be able to keep this prize at home. Deadline winner of the Cumani (G3) over course and distance will probably start favourite but since has only managed sixth behind Happiness Therapy (Pride Of Dubai bred by Anna Giunta) in the Premio Orsa Maggiore.The Irish bred filly was completing a hat trick all over course and distance but all on much better ground than she will encounter here. The Runner up on that occasion Chiaro di Luna was last years winner and wont be far away on Sunday.The Ashling Burke bred Agostino Affe trained Havens Park winner of the Royal Mares over San Siro’s mile can never be ruled out in this type of race but I think Vargiu can win this one with Rose Secret winner of no less than five listed races including both the Tadolina and Bessero in 2021 both over course and distance. How appropriate it would be if the daughter of Sakhees Secret were to make it six this weekend and give her father the opportunity to close the gap on Arcano in the leading sires table.
The Premio Nearco named after THE Italian stallion is one of the most important mile handicaps of the year but surely Nearco the daddy of all of the World’s best racehorses deserves better than just a big handicap in his honour. Races like this are not frequent enough in Italy for horses at or just below listed standard and their absence along with slow payments are driving owners,trainers and jockeys abroad. This years Nearco as one would expect is a wide open affair and perhaps it might be worthwhile to take a chance with the Nicholas Teehan bred winner of the Premio Pisa Lord Bay who made a pleasing return after a long absence over the Capannelle mile in September. Rockhart tradings Bloody Love a winner here last week is another with a chance and as we so often say never rule out Marco Gasparini in big handicaps and Darsu Uzala bred by John Irish is now an eight year old veteran but was a very good second in Pisa last week and has only 51.5kgs to carry.
There are three cards on Saturday, Livorno still only running at 1500 and 1950 metres but all seems to be going well for the Coppa Del Mare on December 4. Siracusa continues with its programme with some trials for the big races on December 8 the highlight being the Premio Silver Horizon for juveniles over 1400 metres a race which often throws up a candidate for the Criterium Dell Immacolata. Treviso is the focus for National Hunt fans as they prepare for their big day next Saturday. We will do a preview next friday on that but for this weekend look at www.hurdleandchase.it They are the experts on “Ostacoli” in Italy.
On Sunday we will have racing in San Rossore Pisa where the two year old Premio Polimemo Orsini over 1500 metres could see the famed colours of Dormello strike with Alsini. Monday Agnano in Naples and Villacidro in Sardinia will provide the entertainment.
Remember all the action live on wwww.italianhorseracing.com
VIDEO: Sakhees Secret champion sprinter and Champion sire Italy 2019 and 2020