Contrasting fortunes for the champion National Hunt trainers of the past two years in Pisa on Sunday.Joy for Pepe Vana and frustration for Raffaele Romano in the big races at the Tuscan track. Scuderia Aichner in 2021 bought Mauricius the winner of the Prix Kergal at Auteuil and their investment is being paid off in spades after a debut win in Treviso and in Sunday’s group 1 Gran Corsa Siepi Nazionale over 4000 metres at Pisa. Mauricius by Kapgarde sire of A Plus Tarde and Clan Des Obeaux out of a Saint Des Saintes mare is certainly bred to be a top class chaser which may ultimately prove his best game but here he had too much for stablemate Zanini recent winner of the Gran Corsa Siepi Di Pisa(G3) and runner up in the G1 Gran Corsa Siepi Di Merano. The third in Merano Skins Rock filled the same position here which underlines the performance of yet another top class Franch bred National Hunt winner. The French trained Paolo finished fourth followed by the races two big disappointments Dominique and Big City neither of whom were ever a threat. The Gran Corsa Siepi Di Milano(G1) at San Siro on April 25 is an obvious target for the principles but Mauricius will be a tough nut to crack.
All three National Hunt pattern races were won by Franch breds but in the Criterium D’Inverno(G2) for four year hurdlers the winner was also trained in France by Davide Satalia. Vale Of Tof was the recipient of a magnificent ride by the young Gallic jockey Gauvain Faivre Picon who furiously drove the son of Vale Of York to a nose victory over Romano’s Lord Of England with his stablemate Boboalena third and Paolo Favero’s Sopran Ares fourth. Again one would imagine the protagonists here could meet again at San Siro in the Corsa Siepi dei 4 anni on April 25. Raffaele Romano’s two challengers Black Watch and Callistemon also filled the minor places in the Neni Da Zara(G3) four year old chase behind the Aichner/Vara teams Illico Clermont with the Czech invader Nathalea Great fourth. The Staffe D’Oro(G2) at San Siro in May is a date for a possible rematch. Enjoy all of the action on the video at the end.
Flat Racing is in a quiet moment just now but over the weekend we will begin the countdown to the opening two classics the Parioli (2000 guineas) and the Regina Elena(1000 guineas) where Fayathaan bred by Anne and John Foley and Wakanaka bred by Jean Brennan enjoyed glory in 2021. The trials for the two big mile races will come thick and fast from the end of the month so we will offer a guide to all in our next article. Irish breds despite the quieter flat weekend nevertheless still won thirteen races perhaps the most interesting of whom was at Siracusa on Saturday in the Premio Gucci for three year olds over 2100 metres (10.5f) where Secret My Love was an easy winner for the Vincenzo Caruso/Salvatore Basile team. The winner by Fast Company out of the Hawk Wing mare Hawk Dance was winning his second race on the trot and promises to be a decent middle distance performer. Bred by Olie Geraghty in Kildare Secret My Love is a full brother to Downsman (2018) already a dual winner over this trip and later over twelve furlongs at Haydock for Jim Boyle.
Racing this week is on Tuesday at Naples Wednesday Varese,Friday Capannelle,Saturday at Follonica and Siracusa and on Sunday at Pisa.
Remember all the action is live on www.italianhorseracing.com