All month the Italian racing media have been speculating about the Regina Elena of the three stars Telepatic Glances favourite over the winter and the two speed machines Aria Importante and Wakanaka who surprised everyone with their excellent trial wins over the mile.Earlier there had been a debate about whether the unbeaten two year old champion winner of the Premio Dormello Europe’s richest two year olds fillies race in 2020 would stay in Italy for the home classic or go to France For the Poule d’Essai Des Pouliches in three weeks or even the German 1000 in June. Apparently Endo Botti and Cristina Brivio have decided on Paris where of course they can house the filly in Chantilly with one of France’s top trainer’s Alessandro Botti who happens to be Endo’s brother and Alduino’s nephew.The Botti/Brivio team apparently believe they have not too much to fear from the top French fillies and are waiting to see what comes from Ireland and Britain.
Mutamaiezah and Sphere Of Fire have of course something to do with that decision as well.The Botti/Brivio team know they have two serious fillies to challenge for the Regina Elena without Telepatic. Mutamaiezah bred by Michael Ryan in Waterford is unbeaten in three starts, the daugther of Kodi Bear-Zelloof opened her account over 1500 metres in Florence in October and was then hugely impressive over seven furlongs in Naples in november.In early march she reappeared in the Ceprano over the guineas mile and won well from Windy Dancer champion sprinter The Conqueror’s half sister by Kodiac.
One would have thought her the natural replacement for Telepatic Glances but stable jockey Antonio Fresu has opted to ride the Noreen and Liam O Donovan bred Sphere Of Fire(Dawn Approach-Pile Ou Face) with Tore Sulas on Mutamaiezah.Fresu is just back from a successful winter in the Middle East and like Cristina Brivio loves Sphere Of Fire.The Dawn Approach filly didn’t see a racecourse until December where she was a promising second in a Pisa maiden.She then made a big impression in another Pisa maiden on the seventh of January winning by twelve lengths. The Premio Andreina in early March is one of the earliest Regina Elena trials and Sphere of Fire won comfortably from Zanfogna who hasn’t done the form any harm since.
Two highly promising fillies, but favouritism will be between two stars who lit up the Italian 2020 two year old scene with dashing performances all through the summer and autumn.Aria Importante(Twilight Son-Aria Di Festa) was with Bruno Grizzetti last year and was unbeatable over six furlongs.She won her maiden over five furlongs in May, won a conditions race over six in June and in July she blitzed the colts in the Primi Passi(Italy’s version of the Phoenix stakes)Then in the Autumn campaign she got the better of Wakanaka for the second time again in the Eupili before apparently finding the 1500 metres of the Gran Criterium too long at the end of October.(it was also her first time on soft ground)That defeat cost Aria the champion two year old title and most believed sprinting would be her game.Grizzetti of course then got into conflict with the Milan racecourse and her owners Blueberry moved the filly to Alduino Botti.The daughter of Twilight Son made an impressive return in the Premio Ceprano over the San Siro mile this time on good ground.Alduino and Stefano Botti have left no stone unturned in their effort to get the daugther of Twilight Son the classic title her Mother was so close to(Aria Di Festa was second in 2009) and Pierre Charles Boudot has been booked.Aria Importante has every right to start favourite on Sunday but her old rival Wakanaka will be hoping its third time lucky for her.
The Jean Brennan bred filly(Power-Storyline) has run seven times, won three listed races and two conditions races and only Aria Importante has ever finished in front of her.In her final race at two the Criterium Nazionale she was impressive over the Milan six furlongs.Most judges also felt that such raw power would not be sustained over a mile but after the Cesare Degli Occhi on Saint Patricks Day nobody doubted, Wakanaka was simply sensational cruising to a six lengths win over Lonely Night. So impressed were Team Valor that they made Diego Dettori an offer impossible to reject and Sunday will be the Power fillies last race in Europe before heading Stateside.
Other contenders include Havana Love(Kodiac-Galmalea)who finished runner up in the Dormello to Telepatic Glances before winning the Criterium Femminile from the Sandra Russell(Lismacue Stud) bred Memo de L’Alguer(Mehmas-Moment of Truth) who was champion two year old in Sardinia.The Mehmas filly was a little disappointing on her reappearance and will need a lot of improvement.There are two other Mehmas fillies hoping for glory the Morgan Cahalan bred Venere Rokeby and Bruno Grizzetti’s Virgin Isla.
It would be a wonderful story if Jean Brennan could match her father who bred the 1984 winner Honey and I think that with the ground running on the soft side of good she might just finally get the better of Aria Importante with Sphere of Fire being close.Either way it promises to be the best Regina Elena in many years so let us enjoy.