Milan will host one of the best meetings of the 2022 season so far on Sunday with no less than five black type races plus the finals of the San Siro handicaps over 1200,1600 and 2000 metres.The highlight of course is the Oaks(G2 2200m €388,500) with twelve fillies going to post. Seven Italians.Four Germans and a French challenger will fight out this highly prized contest.Favourite will be the very impressive Regina Elena (1000 guineas) winner Swipe Up from the EC Racing stable who was given an official 117 rating after Capannelle.I find it surprising that the daughter of Holy Roman Emperor and Salmon Rose bred by George Kent in Tramore did not travel to Ascot or Longchamp but obviously Endo and Cristina think their brilliant filly will stay the extra six hundred metres.Salmon Rose brother Prince Bishop a dual group 1 winner over 2000 metres was also a winner of the Conseil De Paris(G2) over 2400 metres.The second at Capannelle Nonna Ercolina also by Holy Roman Emperor bred by Ciaran Conroy of Glenvale Stud looks on the surface to have even less chance of staying the stiff 2200 metres at Milan.However the third Atamisque last years champion juvenile filly is bred for the job.Trained by Alduino Botti and ridden by Dario Vargiu she was the winner of the Premio Dormello(G2 1600m) last autumn and she has been trained with this race in mind. By the great globe trotter Highland Reel out of the Pounced mare Aury Touch herself a winner of the Mezzanotte and Tadolina both races over 2000 metres.The principle Oaks trial the Mario Incisa Della Rocchetta was won by another EC Racing inmate Wintry Flower (Gleneagles) with the favourite Is Arutas just a length behind in fourth.The latter a daughter of the Yeomanstown stallion El Kabeir bred by JR Banaghan had up to then been ante post favourite for the Oaks after impressive wins in the Alberto Zanoletti and Lorenzo Camuffo trials. Prichi(Awtaad) bred by Austin Curran favourite when fifth in the Regina Elena and then second in the Nogara over 1400 metres,has stout blood on the dams side and she could be a surprise package as could EC Racings third entry Resana winner of her last four starts but all at Capannelle a very different track.
The foreign challenge is five strong and full of promise.The most exposed is Nicholas Clement’s Midnight Fever(Shalaa, Yeomanstown) a very good winner at Chantilly over 1950 metres at the end of May.Henk Grewe has a great record in Italy and is doubly represented by Atomic Blonde disappointing when well fancied in the Regina Elena and Palatina the mount of Alberto Sanna.The latter by Isfahan is very promising,unbeaten in two starts at Mulheim and has been specially trained for the race. Nachtrose(Australia – Night Of Magic) is a sister to the dual group 1 and German Oaks runner up Nightflower. Peter Schiergen has German champion Bauyrzhan Murzabayev on board and believes she has huge ability. Zefania the winner of the Prix Coupe at Lyon over 2400 metres will want a stiff pace and on that point I expect Atomic Blonde may well be used by Grewe to test the stamina doubts of Swipe Up.
Finally if Swipe Up stays she wins but that is the big question as the German fillies will try to expose chinks in her armour. All of the foreign fillies are promising but for me Atamisque a group 2 winner as a juvenile, third in the guineas ,is bred for the job and can give Highland Reel his first classic winner.
The supporting card is superb best exemplefied by the Carlo Vittadini(G3 1600m €75900) where Aria Importante the Queen Of San Siro will attempt to win her eleventh race in twelve starts at Milan and repeat last years epic victory in this race. We have waxed lyrical on numerous occasions about Dario Vargiu’s mount and suffice to say although she faces stiff opposition, we expect her to once again to be almost unbeatable at her favourite track. Cima Emergency,Wonnemond,Vis A Vis and Il Grande Gatsby are all top class performers on their day but Twilights Son’s marvellous mare to win.
The Premio Giubileo(G3 2000m 4+ f) will see all six runners from the Premio Mezzanotte(LR 2200m) renew rivalry. Sergio Urru rode Lyrical to victory on that occasion from the German challenger Norge with Zanfogna third and Cima Star fourth.However I pick the filly who was last on that occasion to win here.Sopran Basilea(Night Of Thunder bred by Aidan Sexton) was fourth in the Oaks last year but went on to win the G2 Lydia Tesio and the G3 Verziere.The Mezzanotte run was just too bad to be true.The other German challenger Dima and Vargiu’s mount Rose Secret are not to be discounted but for me the Grizzetti pair and Lyrical should dominate here with Sopran Basilea to win.
The Gran Premio D’Italia(2400m LR) will have the third, fifth and seventh from the Derby Italiano Frozen Day,Lohengrin and Chelsea Gardens.Bruno Grizzetti will also run the inexperienced Mercantini a half brother to the Italian and Qatar Derby winner Mac Mahon surprisingly the choice of Antonio Fresu. The stiffer Milan track could well suit Lohengrin but Frozen Day to win.
The Premio Bersaglio(LR 1200m €40,700) will see the second, third,fourth and sixth from the Tudini meet again as well as the first,third and fourth from the Certosa so most of Italy’s best sprinters are here in a top renewal. Ghepardo Da Todi is a fast improving three year old and can give Cristaina Signorelli and Alberto Sanna a big win.
A magnificent days racing in prospect which also includes the finals of the San Siro Sprint,Mile and Classic.
VIDEO: Swipe Up wins the Regina Elena from Nonna Ercolina and Atamisque