We will start this weekend looking back at Siracusa’s excellent meeting on wednesday.The feast of the Immaculate Conception is a public holiday in Italy and nowhere celebrated more than in Sicily where on this day in 1990 The Ipodromo Mediterraneo had its first meeting. The Person who contributed most to the development of the course was a certain Francesco Faraci who is remembered by the Gran Premio Francesco Faraci each year on December 8. Before the problems afflicting payments and the conflictive attitude of the European pattern committee the race was listed and worth €69,500.Today it is a Handicap Principale A if you like a Class 2 handicap worth €31,900 less than half of its old value with the Ipodromo Mediterraneo the victims of state incompetence and in the case of the EPC gross stupidity who need to engage with Italian professionals and develop a policy to help a key European countries industry return to good health, rather than knee jerk actions which are further damaging the sport when it faces so many problems all over the continent.
Immortal Romance( Society Rock bred by Tally Ho) has been the star middle distance performer in Sicily over the past couple of years but as they say time waits for neither man nor beast as the six year old had to give best to younger rivals. For much of the race it looked likely that the Sean Murphy bred Va Tutto Bene was going to land a substantial gamble but he had to give best to a sustained challenge from the Epaulette horse Neileta who outstayed everyone at the weights. Mission Accomplise bred by the Mattock Stud was an excellent third with the Clarecastle Farm bred Yulong Pearlisland fourth. The principle two year old race run on the island the Criterium Dell ‘Immacolata(HPB 1500m €24,800), was won by Scivolascivola bred by the Aherne familiy of Prospect Stables in Tipperary.The Zoffany colt a very impressive winner is trained by Luciano La Strina and ridden by Giuseppe Cannarella. Scivolascivola is a half brother to Smallwood who was a two year old winner in Siracusa in 2020 and of course it was the Aherne’s who bred Romanised. Runner up was the Paul Hancock bred Vendicarri twice a winner in Rome who has been mixing with some of the top two year olds but conceding four kilos, was no match for the son of Zoffany who was extending the margin the further they went. The third big race of the day the Premio Unire(HPC 1700 metres) could not in the month that was in it have a more appropriate winner in Adaay Secret by Adaay who is going to stand in Italy in 2022 and out of a Sakhees Secret the champion sire who sadly died in an accident two weeks ago. Adaay Secret bred by Whitbury Manor Stud was the best two year old in Sicily in 2020 winning the Crierium dell’Immacolata but hasn’t enjoyed such a good second season. However under a brilliant ride from Salvatore Basile she gave Playful Dude six kilos and a quarter length with Sopran Furia third. Basile who rode a four timer was also successful in the sprint with Dream Painter who got the better of Every Promise,Into The Wild (Jim Bradley) and Raifan (Kildaragh).The Premio Maeggio for juveniles over nine furlongs was won by the Moygaddy Stud bred Star Alpha(Coulsty) who was winning his second on the trot after being fifth to Scivolascivola over 1700 metres.
The big meeting this weekend is in Naples at Agnano such an important track not alone for Italian galoppo but also trotting where on wednesday three grade 1 races were run worth over half a million Euro. However the course is being run at a loss and with the state once again threatening to cut funding, its very existence is in danger. Saturdays big race the listed Premio UNIRE(2250m €38,500) is an intriguing contest where five three year olds take on a similar number of older animals. Last years first two Aldrodovar (Lord Chaparral) and Unique Diamond (English Channel) renew rivalry and along with Blanc Mentuer (Montalegre) will lead the older challenge. The latter pair were third and fourth in the St Leger behind Atzeco and Tangut who was sold for €540,000 at Arqana this week. They followed that up chasing Atzeco home once again in the Roma Vecchia. Aldrodovar has been largely disappointing this year and I expect Unique Diamond and Blanc Mentuer to lead the older brigade against the Gran Premio D’Italia winner Brigante Sabino(Zoffany) who ran really well when fourth in the Gran Premio Del Jockey Club(G2).Zanfogna(Footstepsinthesand) was a good second to the Oaks winner Eulaila in the Premio Mario Coccia and after a long break returned with a good win in Milan over 2000 metres. Closer Look at one time was considered a Parioli hopeful but one that interests me is Prince Appeal who might just have found his ideal trip. The Excelebration colt was a good winner in Rome over 2400 metres and with Carlo Fiocchi on board might give Brigante Sabino most to do.
The Falling Man bred by Vanessa Teehan of Charel Bloodstock got the better of Vendicari last time out in Rome and will be aiming to win for the third time in four starts for Luigi Di Dio in the Premio Capri over a mile. The son of El Kabeir is likely to face stiff opposition from two sons of Arcano, Celtico Arcano winner of his only race at Pisa and Parco Sempione a winner on his debut before being fourth in the Premio Dormelleto behind Lord Sakay. El Kabeir is having a tremendous first season in Italy and is ahead of Highland Reel and Gleneagles as leading sire of Juveniles. The Premio Robert Livermore over 2000 metres for two year olds in Pisa on Sunday is a race that often produces a decent winner. Alduino Botti introduces two interesting colts My Best(Full Drago) and Honey World(Ruler Of The World) but on this occasion the more experienced trio of Arsenio,Che Musica Maestro and Zain Master might prove better but a race to keep an eye on.
VIDEO: Siracusa meeting December 8 2021 all seven races