Last week we enjoyed a terrific meeting in Capannelle and next week we will have Rome’s Champions day so the weekend in the middle is a little overshadowed but nevertheless we have the final classic of the season, one of the years big handicaps and some very interesting two year old races.
Capannelle began today Friday with an all weather meeting, Saturday will see meetings at Florence and Varese,Sunday has an excellent card in San Siro with another all weather meeting in Rome. Monday All Saints Day in Italy has no less than four cards at Siracusa, Sassari, Varese and Capannelle with the St Leger as the highlight. One very noteworthy statistic this weekend is that between Florence,Varese,Rome,Milan,Sassari and Siracusa 127 two year olds will race. This is a remarkable statistic which augurs well for the years ahead. A few years ago Italian breeding only produced just over 400 foals we can say that despite all of the problems there are real signs that the bottom has been reached and with correct policies now “Galoppo” can have a bright future.
We begin today with yet more good news for Yeomanstown Stud’s first season stallion El Kabeir who is having great success in Italy.Don Chicco has won the Gran Criterium(G2 244,500 euro) and the Premio Giuseppe De Montel(LR) and will head into winter quarters as favourite for the 2022 Premio Parioli(2000 guineas). Sa Filonzana the filly trained in Sardinia by Antonio Cottu and bred by Natalie Cleary who dead heated in the Repubbliche Marinare to complete a four timer will be a prime candidate for the Regina Elena (1000 guineas).The news for Yeomanstown would be even better but for the European Pattern committee’s silly downgrading of one of Europe’s most traditional two year old races. Today in Rome The Falling Man (out of Hadrienne bred by Vanessa Teehan Rouzier’s Charel Park Stud in Carrick On Suir trained by Luigi Di Dio) made a very nice debut on the Capannelle all weather beating more experienced rivals in the Premio Ognon over 1400 metres. One can expect to see Massimo Parri,Team Botti,Francesca Turri and others having some mares covered by the son of Scat Daddy in the future.
Another one of those downgraded races Monday’s St Leger (Rome Monday 3000m 14.25) now only group 3 perhaps has less grounds for complaint but people in Milan are still bitterly disappointed at losing it to Rome due to the Japanese Beetle infestation which caused so much damage at San Siro. Five Italians will line up with challengers from the Czech Republic and Germany. One has to ask what would people be saying if the now sadly dead Adlerflug had been standing at one of the top studs in Ireland or Britain after his success over the past few years.In Swoop, Torquator Tasso, Alter Adler, Iquitos, Ito to name but a few of his best offspring. Mondays St Leger Italiano features one of his daughters Tangut fourth in the 2020 Oaks D’Italia who is certainly going to love the probable heavy ground but will she be good enough to take the prize. Despite Tangut and Unique Diamond loving the ground the latter winner of the 2020 Roma Vecchia over 2800 metres on similar terrain I think both mares will have to give best to Alduino Botti’s two runners, Atzeco a three year old who all year looked like he was a stayer his best run being when runner up in the Gran Premio D’Italia over 2400 metres when splitting Brigante Sabino and Mooney Love.Those two certainly gave the form a big boost in the Jockey Club last weekend. Fambrus one could argue is the most consistent stayer in the country winner of the Coppa D’Oro (Gold Cup) in 2021 and the Premio Lombardia in 2020 over 2400 metres. He did really well in the group 2 Federico Tesio over 2200 metres when third to Thunderman over a trip clearly short of his best. All of his best form is on good ground but I think he will just have too much class for the soft ground specialists.
The Premio Carlo Porta (HPA 2000m Milan Sunday 15.05) is one of the years traditional handicaps and 2021 is no exception. Marco Gasparini is the high practitioner in these handicap principales and in all probability Storm Shelter (Gale Force Ten-City Vaults Girl bred by Brian Kennedy in Down) will start favourite. He had a nice win here over a furlong less two weeks ago and in September was a two and a quarter length third to Clarenzio Fan over 2000 metres in Rome. I think the stiffer Milan track will suit him better than Botti’s colt who has Fabio Branca in the saddle after his forty day suspension. However Team Botti is not single handed with Dario Vargiu riding Double West ( Belardo bred by Timmy Hillman and R O Callaghan),Devolvido (Mario Sanna) and the classically bred Glenearn the mount of Nicola Pinna.
Sassari on Monday stages the Criterium Turritano with the Conor Mcnamara bred Danielina (Alheybayeb-Memyselfie) probable favourite.The Roberto Masala trained filly was third in the Criterium Sardo to Sa Filonzana and Terry De L’Aglguer and that form should see her win here.Sardinia has begun producing good two year olds almost as quickly as jockeys recently as indeed has Siracusa whose excellent card on Monday features the Premio Mediterraneo (HPC 1400 metres) and two juvenile races with twenty eight runners a terrific statement by the Sicilian trainers. The Mediterraneo is as one would expect a very competitive affair. Tally Ho bred two of the fancied runners Chemeh and Ross Ross, Colin Kennedy Rock Of Estonia, John Lyons Murdanova and W Whittle Charlie’s Jamboree but top weights Captain Magnum and Empedoccle have to be respected.
The Premio Bird Sweeter might see the Zoffany colt Scivolascivola (Bred by Prospect Stables) twice runner up on his two starts get off the mark although there is good talk of Fire Of Malta (Twilight Son bred by Rathbarry Stud and Karis Bloodstock)
All of the action is live here on www.italianhorseracing.com
VIDEO: El Kabeir’s son Don Chicco wins Italy’s premier two year old race The Gran Criterium