Finally We can enjoy the first big weekend of the Autumn flat season albeit with the highlight in Capannelle not San Siro. Sundays card in Rome gives us some terrific racing featuring some of the biggest stars of the Italian turf such as Out Of Time, Aria Importante,Thunderman, and Attimo Fuggente. We will have Cristian Demuro back in Rome riding for Team Botti and on Saturday the SGA Yearling sales in Milan as well as one of Chilivani’s two big days with a truly cosmopolitan card. Varese and Merano both stage cards on Sunday with the latter having a relatively quiet meeting before the big “Ostacoli” festival next weekend.
If not in status or prizemoney the race of the weekend for me is the Premio Piazzale (G3 64,350) over one mile run in memory of Italy’s greatest jockey Enrico Camici pilot of over 4,000 winners including Ribot, Botticelli, Tenerani amongst numerous great champions. How appropriate the Piazzale is run in memory of Camici as the greatest champion of all won the race then over 1800 metres between his wins in the King George and his second Arc.(See video below)Last weekend we spoke of a three year old in 2021 who could excite us in Cantocorale winner of the Premios Estate and Fassatti. Well Bruno Grizzetti has wasted no time in throwing the Helmet colt into the deep end against Italy’s best milers. Out Of Time has looked a shadow of his brilliant self this year but the Italian Horse of the year in both 2019 and 2020 has always shown his best form in the Autumn including his two wins in the Vittorio Di Capua. If the son of Sakhee’s Secret returns to something like his best not alone could he win this but he could go on to earn over a million euro including breeding bonus payments. Attimo Fuggente’s performances in the Presidente Della Repubblica(G2) and Signorino make the Exceed and Excel colt a candidate for the title in 2021, throw in the Ribot (G3) winner Fulminix, Pensiore D’Amore winner of the Bereguardo and the 2020 Estate and another three year old Cirano runner up in the Parioli (2000 guineas) and winner of the Sbariggia and now with Demuro in the saddle. A truly top class and intriguing race. The Zoffany five year old Pensiore D’Amore was a length and a half too good for Fulminix before failing by a head to give Aria Importante six and a half kilos in the Carlo Vittadini giving him an official 112 rating. With a doubt about Out Of Time’s love for the game and the probability of fast ground I narrow it down to Attimo Fuggente, Pensiero D’Amore and Cantocorale but dont miss this at 15,55 on Sunday.
Aria Importante conqueror of Pensiero D’Amore in the Vittadini returns in the Premio Elena E Sergio Cumani(G3 69,300 euro) named in honour of Luca’s parents and Francesca’s Grandparents. The Cumani is the fillies equivalent of the Piazzale and sees the Twilight Son filly take on her elders on unfavourable terms receiving just one kilo from the older horses. Nevertheless Scuderia Blueberry’s star will start odds on to get the better of Hank Grewe’s German invader Flamengo Girl,Rose Secret Haven Park Chiaro Di Luna and the other three year old in the field Deadline. Champion jockey Dario Vargiu will take the ride on Aria a filly who has won seven of her nine starts (two group wins and four listed) but who might find the mile on a soft surface a problem if heavy rain was to arrive in Rome before Sunday. If that were to arise Flamingo Girl third in a the group three Preis Henkel Stiftung and fifth in the group 2 Preis Kronimus Oettingen both over a mile on her two most recent starts or Rose Secret might just cause a surprise but if Aria Importante is fully fit and the ground is good or better I expect her to win.
The former group 1 now group 2 Premio Federico Tesio (138,800 euro) named after perhaps the most important person in the history of the sport will have a small but select field over 2200 metres (11 furlongs). Thunderman (Blu Air Force-Yalda’s Girl Dario Vargiu) has already been twice a winner at this level in the 2020 Presidente Della Repubblica over 1800 metres and then in the Premio Roma over 2000 metres. Botti’s five year old best run over this distance was winning the listed Villa Borghese. Cristian Demuro will be on board Baptism (Sea The Stars-Holy Salt bred by Tullpark ltd Nenagh) winner of the Carlo D’Alessio(G3) over 2,400 metres and who was fourth in the 2020 Derby over course and distance. In form Salvatore Sulas will be on the possible surprise packet Blue Sky Dreamer a five year old who has only had nine runs with five wins the most recent in the Siberian Express when in receipt of four kilos he gave Fambrus a four length beating. The latter a tough stayer will need a strong pace which Demuro might provide on Baptism hoping to burn off Thunderman and Blue Sky Dreamer. On all known form Thunderman should win but the trip is a little further than he likes and he has been off the track for almost twelve weeks so Blue Sky Dreamer might just get the better of Baptism.
The opening Premio Isopach sees the return of the 2020 champion two year old Vis a Vis (now ridden by Demuro) who was disappointing in the spring. He will be opposed by the Nicholas Teehan bred Lord Bay winner of the Premio Pisa over 1500 metres in April and I Am Magnetic (Ringfort Stud)now upped in trip after showing top class form over 1200 metres.
Chilivani on Saturday has a six race card which exemplifies the horse racing scene in Sardinia. Two races for purebred Arab horses including the listed Al Nahyan Cup, the Derby Sardo for Anglo Arab horses both races over 2,400 metres and the forty sixth Criterium Sardo for two year old thoroughbreds over a mile which traditionally gives us the Sardinian two year old champion. The 2020 version was won by the Sandra Russell bred Memo D’Alguer (Mehmas-Moment Of Truth) who went on to be third in this years Regina Elena(1000 guineas). In 2021 one of the favourites will be her half brother Terry De L’Alguer (Gutaifan – Moment Of Truth) winner of his only start. Gaduli Di L’Alguer(Highland Reel- Classic Falcon bred by Maria Marron Cashel) was a good winner over 1200 metres and should improve over the longer trip. On form however Sa Filonzana (El Kabeir-Solar Fire bred by Natalie Cleary Wexford) has to be favourite. A winner on her third start in Sassari Antonio Cottu then send her to Tagliacozzo where she easily won the Criterium Femminile from Vendicarri and Transylvania both of whom have franked the form since.
The SGA yearling sales will give us an indication of the level of confidence in the business right now as 136 yearlings will be up for auction. The offering includes yearlings by stallions such as Sea The Stars, Zoffany, Kodiac, Mehmas, Cracksman, Saxon Warrior, Kessaar, Gleneagles, Highland Reel, Mastercraftsman, Footstepsinthesand etc as well as the Italian based Sakhee’s Secret, Affaire Solitaire, Arcano, Luck Of The Kitten, Blu Constellation, Magician, Albert Dock, Pounced and Smokem Kitten.
All the action live here on www.italianhorseracing.com
VIDEO: Enrico Camici wins everything on his favourite champion