We begin this week with the news that Tusacn Gaze (Galileo – Crystal Gaze (Rainbow Quest) the winner of the 2020 Derby Italiano is to stand at the Allevaamento Di Besnate in Varese alongside Arcano, Pounced, Albert Dock, Mukhadraam, Adaay and Wooton’s Colt. The son of Galileo who gave Luciano Bietolini and Carlo Fiocchi their first Derby Italiano victories is a half brother to the brilliant sprinter Spirit Quartz (Invincibile Spirit) winner of the Prix Du Gros Chene (G2 1000m) and the Premio Tudini(G3 1200m) as well as Caspian Prince (Dylan Thomas) the winner of the Sapphire Stakes (G2). Bred in the purple is an understatement with regard to the ex MAG Racings son of Galileo who will be an important addition to Italy’s stallion ranks.
Apologies to our regular readers as we have had a little enforced break over the past few weeks but are now fighting fit once again and hope to keep you all informed on the latest happenings in Italy. The authorities published the racing calendar for March to December yesterday for Group,Listed and Handicap Principales. Prizemoney for group races is up by about 5% with listed races remaining largely the same as are the big handicaps. The Derby Italiano is certainly Europe’s if not the World’s richest group 2 race with a prizefund of €642,400 on May 29 supported by the Presidente Della Repubblica (1800m €200,000). The two big juvenile races the Gran Criterium and Premio Dormello (€251,000) are amongst Europe’s richest despite their EPC group 2 status. The Lydia Tesio at € 300,000 remains among Europe’s richest female all aged races. Guineas day will be on Sunday May 1, The Oaks D’Italia (€388,300) is on June 19, the Gran Premio Di Milan (€200,000) on June 30. In the Autumn after the Arc Italy will dominate the European scene with San Siro’s great “fall” meeting on October 16 featuring the Jockey Club (2400m,€242,000) and the Vittorio Di Capua (1600m €253,000) with the two year old championship races the following Sunday October 23 along with the St Leger which gets a much needed 15% increase. Rome’s champions day which will have well over €1 million in prizemoney is on October 30 with the Lydia Tesio, Premio Roma(2000m €242,000 as well as the Ribot and Berardelli. The Federico Tesio on November 13 (2200m €153,000) will close Milan’s season alongside the Chiusura which according to the calendar will have the same prizemoney and conditions as previously.
This weekend will see racing at Follonica on Saturday when we will also race at Siracusa while on Sunday the Ippodromo San Rossore in Pisa will celebrate its big jumping meeting with three group races including the Tuscan Champion Hurdle the Premio Gran Corsa Siepi Nazionale over 4000 metres(2.5 miles) As well as the home brigade there will be challengers from the Czech Republic and France. Favouritism will be disputed by Zanini and Dominique the first two home in the Gran Corsa Siepi Di Pisa(G3 3500 m). Zanini runner up in the Gran Corsa Siepi Di Merano to the great Live Your Life also won the Corsa Siepi Di Treviso (LR 3500m)in November and is sure to give Scuderia Aichner a real opportunity here. Pavel Tuma’s Czech challenger Dominique seemed to be doing his best work at the finish over the 3500 metres and many will fancy him to win on the big stage over an extra 500 metres. Davide Satalia’s French challenger Paolo is an interesting runner. The son of Great Pretender a winner at both Fointainbleu and Cagnes Sur Mer in the past few months is a half brother to Frodon of course a Ryanair Chase winner and spectacular in the Ladbroke at Down Royal. He is also a full brother to another high class chaser Sao a multiple winner for Rebecca Menzies. The ex French Mauricius a winner here in late December cannot be discounted nor can Raffaele Romano’s Makito a very good dual winner at Merano in 2020 who returned after almost eigtheeen months off the track at San Rossore in December. The ever consistent Skins Rock will be there or therabouts but one who makes a lot of appeal is Paolo Favero’s Big City a five year old who ran his best race when only two lengths off Zanini and Dominique in the Gran Corsa and has a lot of scope for improvement. The Tirolian trainer was full of optimism about the son of Zoffany and the Cheshire Oaks winner Anipa early last year but despite four wins over hurdles he didn’t quite live up to the hype but he has his big chance on Sunday. A tremendous race in prospect the off is 15.10 on Sunday and live here.
The Criterium D’Inverno(G2 3500 m) is one of the principle four year old hurdle races of the year. Raffaele Romano’s Pride Of England surprisingly won the traditional trial the Corsa Siepi dei 4 anni by a length and a half from his stablemate Boboalena and the Czech Great Jelois with the high class flat performer Carrobbio seventh on his debut over obstacles. There will be little between the first three again while Carrobio is sure to improve. Satalia sends the Compiegne and Cagnes winner Vale Of Tof from France whilst Paolo Favero has Sopran Ares making his hurdling debut. Grizzetti Galoppo trained the Dubois holdings bred to four wins on the flat in 2021 and although Favero’s pupils are always well schooled this might be a big ask.
The Premio Neni Da Zara(G3) for four year old chasers will see Romano mounting a dual challenge with Callistemon and Black Watch who fought out the finish in the debutantes Prova Da Assagio at Pisa in December. Black Watch then returned to hurdling while Callistemon was an impressive winner of the Premio Corinto over the course and distance with Favero’s Thistleton who reopposes here six lengths back in third. The Aichner/Vara team rely on Illicio Clermont fourth in the Corinto while Pavel Tuma sends Nathalea Great another Great Pretender offspring a winner at Wroclaw in November. A terrific meeting opening with the Neni Da Zara at 13.00.
Remember all the action from beautiful San Rossore here www.italianhorseracing.com
VIDEO: Pisa meeting january 23 featuring trials for Sundays big jump races