San Siro was looking truly resplendant yesterday as the 1000 patrons allowed in enjoyed a fine days racing (Is there a more attractive racecourse anywhere?).The Oaks D’Italia we felt was an open contest and that Team Botti’s best chance lay with the Newmarket trained Invite a length second to Epsom fourth Save A Forest in her penultimate run and then a ten length winner on her latest start. But how wrong we were not to reckon with the unbeaten Eulaila (Arcano-Eubea (Pounced) and a Dario Vargiu returning like a phoenix from an injury that at one stage was season threatening in a mere fifty nine days. The Alduino/Stefano Botti trained filly was in the front two from the off and after seeing off Zelandia, was challenged by Anoush and Sopran Basilea who were unable to pass her and finally Cima Star was also held. The Sea The Stars filly ran a terrific race to be a length second with the German challenger Anoush a nose ahead of Sopran Basilea and Invite just over four lenghts off the winner in fifth. Eulaila has now won all four of her races two in Milan and two in Rome. She may well now get a rest and return in the Autumn with the Lydia Tesio her main target over ten furlongs. John Egan gave Invite every chance but she simply could not go with the first four. Eulaila picked up the first prize of 141,525 euro but also gets an additional 85,000 for being Italian bred so a tasty 226,000 euro approximately for Scuderia Quafin. Allevamento Dei Lagoni bred the Arcano filly very near Lago Maggiore and Dormello.
Vargiu was also in top form in the Mario e Vittorio Crespi(LR 1200m) where he rode Lollipop Girl (Dandy Man-Kristal Xenia(Xaar) to a comfortable win from Daisy Dei Grif. The Dandy Man filly was bred by Claire Eglington of Collegelands Stud in Meath. Kristal Xenia has now produced three listed two year old winners in Italy Cherie Good (Repubbliche Marinara) and Val Nanda (Alessandro Perrone) a remarkable achievement. Another Irish connected listed winner on the day was the Ashling Burke(Wicklow)bred Haven Park (Sir Prancealot-Fifth Wonder(Tiz Wonderful) who with good ground and different tactics was a very good winner of the Royal Mares the fillies equivalent of the Carlo Vittadini. What a wonderful pair of consistent fillies Haven Park and Chiaro Di Luna are this being their fourth battle with the score now two wins each. Fifth Wonder is a half sister to the St Leger winner Artic Cosmos also bred by Ashling and Iadora farm. Havana Love in receipt of just seven pounds ran well in fourth.
The Star of the day and perhaps the last two years was the brilliant Aria Importante who became the first three year old filly to win the Carlo Vittadini in its long history. The daughter of Twilight Son is now seven wins from nine starts but this was her best performance over a trip I for one thought was beyond her. Mario Sanna had no doubts and let Aria dictate from the start. Four furlongs out it looked ominous as the giant German horse Potemkin came side by side with the filly but she didn’t flinch and the seven time group winner had enough two furlongs later but first Fulminix the 2020 Ribot winner and finally Pensiero D’Amore had to be outfought by the Razza Del Sole bred who is a true star of Italian racing. Anyone who doubts that, look back at the race and feel the emotion of the commentator. What a complement she has paid to her old rival Wakanaka and indeed this generation of fillies. Credit also to Pensiero D’Amore who ran a fine race, the five year old Zoffany horse is in the best form of his life(OR112).That the Racing Post rated the Parioli higher than the Regina Elena tells us their ignorance of Italian racing is astonishing.
There was a spectacular performance not for the first time this year by a Guerrieri/Cascione trained two year old at Rome on Friday. Il Sindacalista (Bungleinthejungle-Mirandassister (Titus Livius) was bred by Anthony Byrne of Calliaghstown Equestrian Centre in County Dublin.The dam is a full sister to Mirandas Girl a six time winner including two in the one week at the Galway festival. Il Sindacalista had won on his debut over the minimum trip without looking anything special but over the seven on Friday in the Premio Niccolo Dell Arca (one of Italy’s greatest ever horses and Nearco’s brother) he was hugely impressive winning by eleven lengths from Freschezza a winner over six furlongs. This was the last meeting in Rome until September when the autumn campaign begins. One would imagine Il Sindacalista will next travel to Milan for the Giuseppe De Montel(LR) in early July.
Another excellent performance was that of I Am Magnetic (Mehmas-Lilium(Nashwan) in the Premio San Giorgio over six furlongs in San Siro on Saturday.The Ringfort stud who is having great success in Italy bred this three year old gelding who can go a long way in the sprinting world. Originally with Michael O Callaghan he was third on his debut to Coill Avon and a certain St Marks Basilica .He was sold last Autumn to Scuderia Sagam and put into training with Renato Discepolo with whom he won in Pisa and ran an excellent third in the Premio Certosa behind champion sprinter The Conqueror. The owners then sent the gelding to Diego Dettori with whom he has now won his two starts. He received an official 100 rating for his latest win but Luca Maniezzi only used hands and heels.
Another fine sprinter bred by Ringfort is Harlem Shake (Moss Vale-Ladylishandra) now a ten year old has been a standard bearer for Marco Gasparini for many years. He has won nearly a quarter of a million euro including the Premio Omenoni(G3) in 2014.As recently as November he won a decent handicap in Rome. Harlem’s half brother Ubettabelieveit won last years Flying Childers(G2). The old veteran ran in Merano yesterday in one of only two flat races in an excellent national hunt card which featured a treble for the Raffaele Romano stable who are in terrific form. Live Your Life now a seven year old won the featured Premio Chivas Regal(LR) a trial for the Gran Siepi D’Italia(G1) on June 26.The Turati gelding was ten lengths clear of the Swiss challenger Candalex bringing his career earnings over 220,000 Euro.
The Premio Lunedi Di Pentecoste(LR) over 3,900 metres (just shy of two and a half miles) saw the reappearance of the great champion L’Estran who along with Lodgian Whistle were brought down by the falling Purple Light. This left the 2020 Champion novice First Of All from Pavel Tuma’s Czech stable in front. However nine months off the track eventually took its toll and the the now eleven years old Notti Magiche took full advantage winning comfortably from another Czech challenger Bugsie Malone. Most of the principles will meet again in the Grande Steepchase d’Europa(G1) 4600 metres in Merano on June 27. Definitely a weekend for your diary a fine two day flat meeting in San Siro featuring the Gran Premio di Milano and top class National Hunt in Merano. Anyone who has doubts about the toughness of Italian Steeplechasing should look at this race.