Patrons at Capannelle enjoyed a good days racing on friday and top class fare on Sunday where surprises were the order of the day on softer ground than we have seen for a while.The Gran Criterium saw Bruno Grizzetti’s Some Respect start a hot favourite to cement his place at the top of the juvenile rankings but Frankie Dettori’s mount in his eight race was all over the place hitting the front in the centre of the track two furlongs out and ending up on the far rails where he was comfortably caught by Don Chicco. The El Kabeir colt now leads their private battle 2-1 after already getting the better of the son of Gleneagles in the Premio De Montel and being runner up in the Victorio Riva. Dettori’s tactics were strange as in his previous three races Some Respect had controlled the race from the front but here he let Il Sindicalista set a modest enough pace. Don Chicco was a worthy winner, is now three from five and being runner up in two all in good company. Baghed was a very good third on his first attempt at a mile with Alduino Botti’s Exceed and Excel colt Vincere Insieme fourth. A great victory for Agostino Affe who also saddled the winner of the days big handicap the Premio Madonnina with the R Boland/J Harley partnership bred Thunder Panther (Night Of Thunder).The Roman based trainer also played no small part in the GP Del Jockey Club as we will see.
Botti and Mario Sanna had better luck in the fillies equivalent where Highland Reel had his biggest winner to date in the Premio Dormello with Atamisque who simply toyed with the opposition winning by three and a half lengths from the French raider Jacinda with the Cloneymore Farm Athboy bred Terra Del Sole third.The dam Aury Touch(Pounced) was a winner of the listed Tadolina and Buontalenta over a mile and ten furlongs respectively so Team Botti can dream not only of the Regina Elena but also the Oaks. Without a doubt this was the best performance by an Italian two year old filly in 2021.What was perhaps also noteworthy was the going was soft in Capannelle yesterday and her father for all of his wonderful qualities was no lover of those conditions.
The Gran Premio Del Jockey Club is a race very much associated with San Siro and some of the Milan track’s greatest days have seen horses such as the Arc winners Ribot, Molvedo, Soltikoff and Tony Bin first past the post so it was strange to see the countries premier mile and a half race in Capannelle yesterday. Deutsches Derby runner up Alter Adler was favourite to win under Frankie and when the German colt hit the front three furlongs out for a moment he looked like he would easily shake off the front running Mooney Love but it took him all of two furlongs to do just that and by then Road To Arc was flying under Antonio Orani who was a comfortable winner. Mooney Love just held off Brigante Sabino for third and as we expected the trip was just too far for Thunderman who we will hopefully see again in the Premio Roma in two weeks.The son of Planteur was unraced at two and made an impressive debut for Agostino Affe a month before the 2020 Derby where he finished seventh before winning a conditions race and then the Premio Scheibler very impressively over ten furlongs.Affe then sent him for the Jockey Club where he finished fourth appearing not see the trip out.The owner Ferdinando Fratini amongst those fed up with the slow payments situation sent him to Jerome Reynier in Marseille where unfortunately he picked up an injury which kept him off the track until September when he had a run out in a group 2 in Strasbourg. Road To Arc should if injury free have a very good 2022 over middle distances.This was Antonio Orani’s biggest win of his career and is yet another Sardinian jockey plying his trade at a high level.
Frankie Dettori wasn’t having a good day but it improved for him in the Premio Omenoni over the minimum trip.The Conqueror undisputed Italian champion sprinter over the past three years is a bit like Highland Reel in that he is no lover of soft ground and the overnight rain helped Agiato to finally put one over on his old rival.At the end of 2020 many of us thought that Agiato would be the one to challenge The Conqueror this year and after two impressive wins in March and April the son of Bated Breath looked likely to fulfil that promise but he has been very frustrating since.Perhaps the rain that fell on Saturday helped Grizzetti’s horse as much as it did the opposite for the champion.The Time was a terrific 55.9 seconds.Rivalry will be renewed in the Aloisi over 1200 metres on Rome champions day in two weeks where Grizzly may not be relying solely on Agiato. Friday’s Premio El Greco(1000 metres) had very good winner in Virgin Isla who blitzed the field in 56.05 seconds with Raifan second and Ponntos who was sixth to A Case Of You in the Prix L’Abbaye(G1) third.The winner is another flying Mehmas filly who surely has a bright future ahead of her.The Runner up Raifan(Gutaifan) was bred by Kildarragh Stud while Ponntos(Power) was bred by Liam Butler and Churchtown House Stud.
The Premio Campobello over 1800 metres is among the two year old races that gives us most clues to the following years Derby. Sunday’s winner Arrival (Australia -Alta Fedelta) is certainly bred for the job.He is a half brother to Brasilian Man(Teofilo) for many the best middle distance horse in the country.He certainly looks a horse who will give everything as he tried to lead from start to finish was headed three furlongs out by Codice D’Onore and at the furlong pole by Sebastiano Guerrieri’s Wonka Willy(bred by Gerald Colclough) but he saw both of them off under a strong ride from Dario Vargiu.The Berardelli over course and distance in two weeks may see some of the principles again.
Merano had its final meeting of a memorable season on Sunday with a treble for Raffaele Romano and a double for Paolo Favero.The latter had high expectations for Big City at the start of the season and even though the Zoffany gelding hasn’t reached those highs The Premio Golden Time hurdle over 3,300 metres was his fourth win of the season.I would expect to see him before the year is out as the “Ostacoli” now moves to Treviso in November and to Pisa in December.
A huge weeks racing ahead with the following meetings
Wednesday Milan and Tagliacozzo
Saturday Florence and Varese
Sunday Milan and Rome
Monday Rome,Siracusa and Sassari.
The highlights will include the St Leger on Monday in Capannelle(Usually San Siro),The Premio Carlo Porta in San Siro on Sunday and the Premio Mediterraneo in Siracusa.
All live here on www.italianhorseracing.com
VIDEO: Road To Arc wins the Gran Premio Del Jockey Club