Its not too often that “Ostacoli” provides the star Irish bred performer in Italy but this weekend thats exactly what occurred. Zio Reginaldo (War Command-Pitullie) a decent performer on the flat for Alduino Botti achieving an 88 Official rating winning three times and at one stage even Derby hopes were entertained. However a distant fourth in the Filiberto put paid to those notions. This spring the now gelded five year old was sold to Scuderia Aichner and the leading stable in Italian Jumping gave him an opener at Treviso on the level before introducing him to hurdles in the traditional Premio Cogne a race well known for introducing future champions.The Joe Bishop bred ran an excellent race with only O Juke a previous winner of the St Leger proving too good.In May Zio Reginaldo won his maiden hurdle at Merano and quickly followed up in a conditions race over 3300 metres.Josef Vana junior then decided that perhaps the son of War Command best prospects was over the bigger obstacles which led to Sundays Premio Vincenzo Pollio the traditional novice chase trial for the Premio Richard(G3) over the course and distance at the end of August.Then if all goes well its to the September festivals big novice chase the Premio Steeple-Chasses D’Italia(G2 3900 metres).The dangers on Sunday included the Polish challenger Ocean Life already a steeplechase winner at Merano and a group 3 “Siepi” winner at Merano last autumn. Champion trainer Raffaele Romano’s Lucechericama fresh from being placed in the group 2 Ezio Vanoni over course and distance and the French import Apolonas were others who seemed too experienced for the newcomer. However from the off Lukas Matusky had Zio Reginaldo at the front and he jumped his way to an impressive win with Ocean Life finishing well to be two and a half lengths second with Lucechericama a distance back in third. A most promising debut for the Irish bred who we can expect to see on the last Sunday of the month.
Merano’s Summer/Autumn season is moving into full swing and next Monday August 15 Feast of The Assumtion in Italy we can expect to see the great L’Estran have his prep for the Gran Premio Di Merano in the listed Creme Anglaise. Also on the card will be an important trial for the Gran Corsa Siepi di Merano(G1) as well as two listed flat races and a handicap principale. The listed races on the flat are the Premio Merano over 2400 metres and the fillies equivalent the Premio Terme Di Merano over a furlong less. With the South Tirolian tracks proximity to Germany we can expect a strong Teutonic challenge for both middle distance events while the jumping will attract runners from the Czech republic and Poland so the expected big attendance can enjoy a cosmopolitan meeting at the beautiful Alpine track.
Tagliacozzu a small course in L’Aguila just over 100 kilometres from Rome staged a very nice meeting on Sunday featuring the Criterium Marsicano over 1600 metres. As with most juvenile contests this year Sebastiano Guerrieri had a big say in the outcome and his Smokem Kitten colt Natural Wonder was an easy winner from Agostino Affe’s Ever Really with the winners stablemate Pop It White third. Natural Wonder looks like a colt who can go on to better things.
There has been a notable increase in home bred winners in 2022 and at Tagliacozzu for the first time in quiet a while all of the winners were Italian bred. With the likes of Helmet,Ruler Of The World, Adaay, Markaz, Capella Sansevero joining the established Arcano,Pounced,Mujahid,Lethal Force as well as the exciting newcomers Albert Dock and Samysilver that is a situation that will surely become more common. Unless the resurgence in local racing is to gather pace that is likely to lead to less demand at yearling sales in Ireland,Britain and France from Italian buyers. Interestingly the SGA yearling sales in Milan in September has an increase in numbers and their sponsored race the Premio Delle Aste is getting a 50% increase in prizemoney making it the richest juvenile race in the country only behind the Gran Criterium, Dormello, Primi Passi and Berardelli.
Speaking of juveniles Andromeda Star proved herself the best two year old seen in Sardinia so far this year with a sparkling win in the Criterium Turritano over 1500 metres at Sassari on Saturday. Bred by Conor Mcnamara, by Requinto out of a Kodiac mare she has now won three of her four starts all on the island. The dam Memyselfie was bred by Tony Kilduff and is a full sister to Smoothtalkinrascal a 105 rated sprinter. The Criterium Sardo at Chilivani on October 1st is the obvious target for Antonio Cottu’s smart filly.
Racing this week : Tuesday at Varese,Thursday at Corridonia featuring the Premio Citta Di Corridonia over 2150 metres,Friday at Follonica with Naples and Varese on Saturday. Sunday will be at Tagliacozzu, Merano and Livorno where the crowds can enjoy the 77th running of the Coppa Del Mare(HPB) which should be off near midnight at the Tuscan venue. As we said earlier Merano will stage a superb mixed card on Monday August 15.
VIDEO: Samysilver having a 100% strike rate with his juveniles in 2022 seen here winning the Citta Di Napoli