As We move into high Summer racing in the peninsula begins to see changes in location.The Agnano Racecourse in Naples (Photograph above) will largely replace the Rome meetings on Tuesday and Friday while the Sand based racing in Follonica will now be joined by Corridonia in the province of Macerata just south of Ancona near the Adriatic and beginning this Sunday in Tagliacozzo in the central Abruzzo region east of Rome. Naples has been particularly hard hit in this years reductions and prizemoney at the track will average around 42,000 euro per meeting during the summer.
The Longines World ratings have been announced this week and once again we can see the enormous influence the Racing Post Ratings(RPR) have on these very influential rankings.In recent weeks these ratings have shown themselves to be at best untrustworthy regarding Italian racing.In many cases the merit of the Italian trained animal has been underestimated which is having a prejudicial effect on the classification of Italian races. Frankly it is not just Italian racing which is being underestimated but also French ratings are also lower than they should be. Italian racing is what concerns us but let me give an example of the Epsom Derby and the Prix Du Jockey Club for effect. Adayar won this years Epsom Race from Mojo Star (A maiden) and received an RPR of 123 for his success. Adayar had won one Nottingham maiden is his career before Epsom. This was not unusual for the Epsom Derby the previous four winners received 121,119,122 and 121 respectively.What of course is relevant is that these four horses in sixteen subsequent races between them achieved one win in a group two race hardly the form of horses rated in the one hundred and twenty region.
Let us compare this to RPR ratings for the Prix Du Jockey Club.St Marks Basilica winning his third group one after the Franch guineas and the Dewhurst received 119. Now Adayar may prove to be a great racehorse unlike his four predecessors but to my eyes at least to be rated higher than the the European champion two year old and the Poule Dessai Des Poulains winner at this stage is wrong.Last years Jockey Club hero Mishriff who got 116 incredibly five pounds less than Serpentine, went on to win the Dubai Classic(G1)and the 8 million Euro Saudi Cup and a Deauville group two. Sottsass the 2019 winner received 121 and of course went on to win the Arc and Prix Ganay. I think we get the picture that what is happening is that bias is being allowed to deny fact.This is fine ratings are subjective but when it is damaging a countries Racing industry and by implication breeders in Ireland as well it is unacceptable.
It has been a similar story with this years Italian three year olds in particular where anyone with even a passing interest is aware that the fillies are superior to the colts but of course none of them ran in England like Fayathaan. A good example amongst many are the Italian guineas, the Mehmas colt was rated by RPR as one pound superior to Wakanaka the fillies winner against all available evidence.The Carlo Vittadini is the big summer mile race for three year olds and up and attracted Fayathaan and Convivio first and fourth in the Parioli and Aria Importante fourth in the Regina Elena. Aria Importante two lengths behind Wakanaka in the 1000 was a brave winner six and three quarter lengths ahead of Fayathaan with Convivio a length closer than in Rome a place behind. Yet RPR gave Aria Importante 101 for her victory in the Vittadini clearly underestimating her performance.We will not claim to be experts like the RPR people but we have a little knowledge of the scene in Italy so going forward we will publish italianhorseracing.com s own ratings on a half yearly basis beginning next week when we will rate the sprinters and milers.After the Gran Premio Di Milano and Premio Primi Passi we will give our ratings for the middle distance horses and two year olds. We hope this will clarify the situation better for those English speakers who have an interest not least the numerous breeders who have sold horses there.
2021 has seen a big renewal of the Stallions available to Italian breeders.Magician has been sent by Coolmore and in a partnership with the Andy Capp stud near Siena has seen the son of Galileo being remarkably popular with Italian breeders covering as of this week 128 mares surpassing Dr Devious record of 127 in 2004. Helmet has also been very popular and with eleven other new stallions we can expect an increase in the number of live foals in 2022.
Sundays feature in Merano is the Premio Giulio Coccia over 4100 metres (Two miles four and a half furlongs) a cross country and a traditional trial for the Grande Steeple Chase Di Roma on June 27 over the course and distance.Broughton now eleven has been a long time stalwart of the Scuderia Aichner winner of eigtheen races including the Grande Steeple Chase Di Milano before his cross country career.The great old warrior would normally be expected to win this but a nine month layoff combined with Power Zar being fully fit and a good winner here in May may result in a surprise. The Premio Glorenza is a good four year old hurdle over 3300 metres Chateaudelmaison with the inform Gabriele Agus is likely to start favourite but Danza Nel Vento,Ventura Bounty,Desperados and the Ashley O Leary bred Aventus will all have their chance. The Premio Lagundo( hurdle 3000 metres) features five Irish breds and this might see Mr Lauda put Paolo Favero back in the winners enclosure.The son of Alhebayeb was bred by David Ryan’s Elton Lodge Stud in Limerick. Schwarzwald might give the Romano/Agus team a double in the Roberto Feligioni chase over 3550 metres.
Patrick Headon Wraymount Stud in Birr bred Sebastiano Guerrieri’s latest two year old winner in Naples today in the Premio Mount Everest over the minimum distance when after a tremendous battle the daughter of Anjaal-Love In The City got the better of the home bred Black Laser by a short nose. Anjaal of course is now standing in Italy. Another Irish bred winner in Agnano was Nanga Jambu who had his fifth win in the seven furlong Premio Maktub.The BungleintheJungle was bred by Olive O Connor and Raymond Gaffney in Wicklow. The well bred Principe Di Toni bred by P and B Bloodstock in Abbeyfeale Co Limerick won the nine furlong handicap.This was the son of Zoffany’s first win in seven starts.
More News and Reviews on Tuesday.