A most enjoyable weekends racing in the peninsula over the long weekend with the highlights being the St Leger at Capannelle, a number of handicap principales at Milan,Rome and Siracusa and a glut of two year old races. In our preview we felt the Botti pair would have too much class for Tangut and Unique Diamond in the Leger but whether it was the heavy ground or something else Fambrus the warm favourite ran very poorly in fifth. Stablemate Atzeco (Fastnet Rock-Examinee(Monsun) bred by the Kathryn Stud on the other hand gave a big boost to the three year old generation with a relatively comfortable win from the ground loving pair Tangut (Adlerflug) and Unique Diamond (English Channel). The form of the Gran Premio D’Italia over 2400 metres at the end of June has worked out very well Brigante Sabino a narrow winner from Atzeco with Mooney Love third.The first and third both ran very well in the Jockey Club occupying fourth and third respectively and now the Dario Vargiu ridden Atzeco proved what many had thought all summer that he was an out and out stayer. The stamina of course comes from his German bred dam Examinee who was a full sister to Energizer a group 3 winner over ten furlongs and Extravagance who has produced a middle distance winner in Australia.Atzeco was sold for 37,000 guineas at Tattersalls was unraced at two and won on his debut on Saint Patrick’s Day.So its been a long season and time will tell if he reappears in the Roma Vecchia over 2800 metres on November 21.Over a decade German trainers had dominated the St Leger Italiano but Atzeco is the third home trained winner of the past four years suggesting that Team Botti in particular are beginning to improve their staying horses.
Alduino Botti has another potentially high class colt in Sunny River (No Nay Never-Ars Nova) a 77,000 guineas yearling who despite running greenly was an easy winner of the Premio Sette Colle (HPC) over 1600 metres. The home bred half brother to the Premio Pisa winner Clockwinder could have a similar programme next spring as Botti doesn’t have an obvious Parioli candidate to test Don Chicco and Some Respect. The Conor Mcnamara bred Danielina was the form choice in the Criterium Turritano over 1500 metres at Sassari but she ran very greenly and was easily beaten into second place by Thor De Sa Matta(Galileo Gold-Best Steps bred by Joseph Reid) who showed a real burst of speed despite carrying his head highly. In Siracusa meanwhile the Prospect Stable bred Scivolascivola (Zoffany-Might Be Lucky) was a four and a half length winner from Rose Zahr (Anjaal Rathasker Stud) and will be a candidate for the Criterium Immacolata on Decmber 8. Tara Stud’s stallion Estidhkaar has had only five two year olds runners in Italy including Willy Wonka a dual winner and runner up in the Campobello but after Yelsara making a winning debut over 1300 metres today his success ratio to winners is 80%.The half brother to Puo Sucede was bred by DG Iceton.
However from an Irish breeding point of view the story of the weekend is all about the Kennedy family from County Down who have had such success in Italy over the past number of years.On Sunday in San Siro we predicted that Marco Gasparini’s Storm Shelter would get the better of Clarenzio Fan in the Premio Carlo Porta a handicap principale A over 2000 metres. We were right by the shortest of short heads as the Brian and Ann Marie Kennedy bred just held on from Botti’s fast finishing horse with the Stratford Place bred Sadalsuud third. Storm Shelter is by Gale Force Ten out of City Vaults Girl(Oratorio) was winning his biggest prize to date but is just beginning to live up to his half brother the now eight year old City Of Stars (Lilbourne Lad) the winner of fourteen races five of them handicap principales including the Premio San Rossore. A big winner for the Kennedy’s in San Siro in the far north and a day later today in Siracusa Sicily in the far South nephew Colin bred Rock Of Estonia (Society Rock-Estonia) to win the Premio Mediterraneo(HPC) over 1400 metres.Colin sold the foal for 68000 euro to Ciaran Conroy’s Glenvale Stud who sold him as a yearling for 90,000.After two spectacular wins over the minimum trip at Windsor and Bath he was favourite for Royal Ascot’s 2018 Norfolk stakes but on the eve of the race sustained an injury which kept him off the track for over a year.Although he returned he was never the same horse until the warm sunshine of Sicily revived him after Carmelo Cannarella bought him early in 2020.The Mediterraneo was his fifth win since arriving in Italy three of those this year.Rock Of Estonia was very impressive today and if he stays fit more wins await.His two year old half sister Kiningrace was a winner in Haydock in september.Sadly Brian went to his eternal reward last year.
On the jockeys front a treble for Dario Vargiu today bringing him into clear second place in the race for the Frustino D’Oro on 82 winners seven behind Tore Sulas(89) with Gabriele Cannarella on 80. With two months left the insatiable Sardinian is favourite to retain his title.On the trainers front Alduino Botti has now 156 winners worth over 2,3 million Euro.Mirco Demuro rode his 100th group winner in Japan on saturday what a career the older brother has enjoyed. Antonio Fresu as he does at the end of every October has returned to the Middle East for the winter.
A massive week ahead with jumping resuming in Treviso on Friday and after five sad years the Ippodromo Caprilli will reopen in Livorno next Monday.Two ordinary cards over the next few weeks with just five races to make sure all goes well with one of the Tuscan summer highlights of the past the Coppa Del Mare going ahead now in December, All of this pales in comparison to Romes champions day next Sunday in Capannelle with a magnificent card.
Wednesday San Siro
Friday Capannelle and Treviso
Saturday San Siro,Sassari and Siracusa
All of the action live on www.italianhorseracing.com
VIDEO: Atzeco wins the Saint Leger under Dario Vargiu