Italian racing may be suffering from slow payments and those in high places without any appreciation of history but one thing not lacking is the excitement engendered by the opening two classics of the season and the build up to same. Both races will be run at Capannelle on May 1 but the build up to both will actually begin on March 6 with trials at both Pisa and Rome. This weekend we will look at the build up to the colts classic and next week the Regina Elena. The Premio Parioli has been won in recent years by some of Italy’s best milers such as Anda Muchacho,Out Of Time, Malossol and the great Ramonti. The last British winners include Air Express who went on to win the Queen Elizabeth Stakes and Silkeston later the winner of the Queen Anne Stakes. Irish trained winners include the Dermot Weld pair Again Tomorrow and Gay Burselm both with Mick Kinane in the saddle and Kevin Prendergasts Alabama Jacks who then stayed in Italy with Aldo Feligioni. During the long history of the Parioli some of Racings most important horses have won the race including Nogara in 1931 her son Nearco seven years later followerd by the likes of Niccolo Dell’Arca, Astolfina, Botticelli Capo Bon and Mannsfeld. The 2021 two year old season suggested the home defence will be strong through the likes of Don Chicco,Some Respect, Baghed and Vincere Insieme. Plenty of trainers will be hoping that the trials will throw up one of theirs as a candidate and we can also expect challengers from Germany and France if not Ireland or Britain.
On March 6 at San Rossore the Premio Thomas Rook give some of those without much juvenile exposure the opportunity to present their credentials. The last Parioli winner to win the Thomas Rook who went on to win at Capannelle was the aforementioned Alabama Jacks in 1999. On the same day in Rome the Premio Arconte has thrown up more recent winners such as Best Tango in 2013 and Golden Titus in 2007 so clearly a race to watch. The next test will be at Capannelle on March 20 The Premio Daumier over the Parioli course and distance a race that has thrown up no less than six of the last twenty Guineas winners Le Vie Infinite 2003,Spirit Of Desert in 2004,Ramonti in 2005,Libano in 2009,Al Rep in 2011 and Hero Look in 2015.Therefore one to keep an eye on but on April 3 at Pisa is the major trial a race with a big tradition of its own the Premio Pisa (Lr 1600m € 55,000) won by luminaries such as Ribot, Filiberto, Nogara, Archidamia and recent Parioli winners Salford Secret(2014),Wait Forever (2018) and the marvellous Out Of Time(2019). The 2021 Classic runner up Cirano was also second at the Tuscan track. San Siro’s major trial for the Roman mile classic is the Premio Gardone (LR 1600m €40,700) which will be run on Saturday April 9. The Gardone regularly is a guide to the Parioli, Worthadd in 2010, Malossol in 2012, and Anda Muchacho have won both races while Poetta Diletto was third in the Gardone before winning in Rome and last year Fayathaan a mere fifth in Milan triumphed on the big day. These are the main warm up races but also keep an eye on the Premio Calvairate at Milan won last year by Mordimi who started favourite at Capannelle and the Alfonso Dorio over 1500 metres at the Capital’s venue.
This weekend’s big race is the Premio Barbaricina a handicap principale over 1750 metres at San Rossore on Sunday where sixteen runners will go to post ten of whom were bred in the Emerald Isle. Without a doubt on her best form Memo De L’Alguer a daughter of Mehmas bred by Sandra Russell in Tipperary would have a favourite’s chance with 59kgs but last years Regina Elena third is a dificult ride so Andrea Fele will have his hands full.Top weight is the Yeomanstown bred son of Dark Angel Silver Mission a winner over 2100 metres here earlier in the month.Shikami bred by Glenvale Stud in Carrick On Suir arrives in Pisa after Elisa Castelli sent the son of Mastercraftsman on a French raid where under Cristian Demuro he was runner up at Cagnes Sur Mer. Wealth Of Love bred by Anne Hayes in Kildare went into winter quarters in 2020 as one of the favourites for the Parioli but injury and a change of stable put paid to that. The son of Dragon Pulse showed a little of his old form here in December when third over 1500 metres. Pinky Guy bred by Stonecross Stud won six races in 2021 including Livorno’s famous Coppa Del Mare. Agostino Affe runners can never be discounted especially with Claudio Colombi on board so keep an eye on Circus Ring nor can Tara Stud’s Puo Succede,The Blake/Dwyer bred Baffonero and David Allan’s Ladridbiciclette in a wide open contest. Alduino Botti will have two home breds Cool And Dry with Dario Vargiu and Bulldozer while Dormello run one of the class horses in the race Ornais who returned to form here in January. An intriguing contest well worth viewing at 15.45 here on www.italianhorseracing.com
VIDEO: 2020 Premio Pisa