The Racing scene is a little more tranquil in Italy over the next couple of days after the incredible excitement of last weekend. Nevertheless there will be seven meetings from the South in Siracusa to the very far north in beautiful Merano where the Spring/Summer jumping season begins. We will have the last Derby trial, an Oaks trial and a Handicap Principale B to enjoy. But let us begin with a quick look at the first two year olds in action over the past few weeks. Twelve months ago Sebastiano Guerrieri’s Windstormblack was creating exactly that a Storm with his exciting displays and the Roman based Sicilian is once again producing some exciting juveniles. Once more its offspring of Brazen Beau who are setting a scorching pace this year both a colt and a filly. Hurricane Black (Brazen Beau – Ambrix) made his debut in the Premio Romolo e Remo over Capannelle’s 1000m metres and started long odds on but he had just a head to spare over Agostino Affe’s Quentin (Adaay). Today at Rome the Carlo Fiocchi ridden colt blazed another trail as he scorched home in 56.2 seconds the fastest of any of the five furlong races at the meeting, including the valuable Premio Andreina where EC Racing’s Beautiful Mistakes was the victor.
In the Premio Marguerite Vernaut long a race associated with fast juvenile fillies Guerrieri introduced another Brazen Beau, called New Collections who on soft going stormed home six lengths clear of her field in 56.98.
Meanwhile in Milan also last weekend two potentially outstanding fillies met in the Premio Poncia where Alduino Botti’s French Fries (Exceed and Excel – Aury Touch) got the better of Guerrieri’s My Lea (Dandy Man – Luvmedo) The winner is a half sister to the Dormello (G2) winner Atamisque third in last weekends Regina Elena and the runner up bred by Ciara Eglington in County Meath is a full sister to the Italian champion sprinter My Lea winner of the Premio Tudini (G3) the Premio Aloisi (G3) and seven other races. On the same card Bruno Grizzetti still not firing on all cylinders introduced the Gleneagles colt Vero Atleta bred by Sean O Sullivan’s Corrin Stud in Fermoy. The chestnut cruised home in the Premio Lampugnano and anyone who witnessed his display will be eager to see his next run.
Guerrieri has another intersting colt this time a son of local stallion Le Vie Infinite called Sogno Infinito who was a good winner of the Toulouse Lautrec at Capannelle. The fillies will have their first big test on Derby day in the Alessandro Perrone with the colts a week later in the Alberto Giubilo and then the Primi PassiG3) on June 30 which in the past two years has been won by Aria Importante and Windstormblack with the runners up being Wakanaka and Baghed respectively. Wakanaka runs in the group 2 Distaff turf Mile on Kentucky Derby Day at Churchill Downs on Saturday.
This Sunday sees a last chance for Derby hopefuls to impress in the Premio Lodi Vecchio over 2200 metres at San Siro. Armandino when moved up to this trip at Rome last time out was too good for another Derby hopeful Lohengrin so perhaps an impressive display by the Highland Reel colt could see him get his chance at Capannelle in two weeks. Likewise Age Of Ultron a son of Zoffany a winner at Rome over 2000 metres and last time out fifth in the Botticelli behind Tempesti.
Incidentally the Racing Post traditionally not ones to overrate Italian form were hugely impressed by the Dormello colt giving him no less than 119 a pound higher than they rate Epsom favourite Luxembourg. The Oaks trial the Mario Coccia (2100m) at Rome sees two very interesting jockey bookings. EC Racing in sensational form especially with their fillies have booked Capannelle specialist Carlo Fiocchi to ride the War Command filly Resana who arrives on the back of a hat trick of wins. Perhaps even more interesting is Alduino Botti’s booking of the exiled Fabio Branca on Maria Salvador. The Mujahid filly had looked decent in her three opening runs but when upped to 2000 metres at Milan looked a different animal.
The Norelands Stud bred Star Of Carina by Lawman out of a sister to a Middle Park winner very impressive on her seasonal bow at Milan now moves into unknown territory here. Dario Vargiu is on Valzer a winner over 1800 metres so an interesting contest.
The richest flat race of the weekend the Bruno Agriformi (HPB 2400m 3) might be woth taking a chance with Branca on board Blentteim Fan a son of Albert Dock who should relish the trip and perhaps have too much for Honey World and Lord Liberty,
Merano The Cheltenham or Punchestown of Italy opens its 2022 programme this Sunday in South Tirol with the traditional highlight being the Premio Conde four year old and upwards Hurdle over 3000 metres for debutantes. Without any question the best horse on the flat was O Juke the winner of the 2018 St Leger Italiano(G3) and in 2019 the Premio Regione Toscana(Lr). The now seven year old son of Jukebox Jury returned after a three year absence this spring so it will be interesting to see how champion trainer Raffaele Romano’s charge fares.Romano also runs two others Feu De Bois and Icare De Sartuque both dual winners on the level.Paolo Favero runs two Irish breds Ambarella (Epona Bloodstock) and Woodcock(Cottage Lodge Stud) but the favourite is likely to come from Josef Vana Junior, Zio Reginaldo now five and a triple winner on the flat most recently at San Siro in October over 2000 metres.
Irish Thoroughbred Marketing are to commended for sponsoring a decent conditions race at Siracusa on Saturday for three year olds over 1600 metres.The Sicilian owners and trainers are big supporters of Irish breeding and its appropriate that ITM are giving something back.The Moygaddy Stud bred Antonino Cannella trained Star Alpha three times a winner in eleven starts wont be far away with the locally bred Reluck an obvious threat.
VIDEO 1: Live Stream di Ippodromo Capannelle
Ippodromo di Merano
VIDEO 2: Lestran wins the 2021 Gran Premio Di Merano(G1 €250,000 5000m)