The beautiful Ippodromo Di Maia in Merano gave us a terrific weekends racing with two champions laying down markers for their respective autumn campaigns and numerous interesting races. Deauville saw a big Italian presence in the three principle races on Sunday, Frankie Dettori getting Palace Pier home just ahead of Poetic Flair in the Prix Jacques Le Marois(G1). Cristian Demuro just got the Gran Premio Di Milano winner Wally home in the Prix Gontaut Biron(G3) over ten furlongs from Monte with Premio Del Giubileo runner up No Limit Credit ( third to Skaletti in a group 1 in Germany afterwards) a close fifth. Simone Broggi has a very good three year old in Gregolimo ( Galiway-Kendanemarie) who was a comfortable winner of the Prix Nureyev(LR) over ten furlongs. Id expect to see him in the Premio Federico Tesio Or Premio Roma in the autumn.
Speaking of the Premio Federico Tesio (G2) last years winner the German mare Stex returned to her very best form in Merano on Sunday where she demolished what had looked like a good field before hand. Roland Dzubasz mare a decent third in the aforementioned Premio Del Giubileo returned to her best leading coast to coast under Michal Abik. The daughter of Lord Of England who will return to San Siro for the Federico Tesio over 2200 metres in Milan (September 19) had six lengths to spare over Whizzair who ran on well at the end for second.The Merano contest once again showed up the weakness in the older middle distance Italian fillies.The home team will be very dependant on the younger brigade in races such as the Lydia Tesio and Verziere.
There was nothing weak about the magnificent L’Estran in the Premio Creme Anglaise (LR) steeplechase over 3,800 metres who returned to the track after an almost eleven month absence as if he had been running all year. The dual Gran Premio Di Merano winner under Josef Bartos gave a superb front running performance and apart from one error was faultless and laid down a strong marker to all comers that he will not surrender his title without a fight. Pepe Vana’s horse had two and three quarter lengths to spare over Northerly Wind with Notti Magiche third and Enola Gay fourth. The Czech challenger also back after a three month break lost little in defeat and will be a threat to the Linda’s Lad gelding on September 26 over 1200 metres further. There were two other high class “Ostacoli” performances on Saturday. Raffaele Romano’s No Profit paid a handsome compliment to Roncal his conqueror in the group 2 Criterium Di Primavera with an impressive win in the Premio Saverio Lembo (4yo hurdles 3300m) The Nathaniel gelding was six lengths clear of Urban Hero with the Czech challenger Brillon Du Fouquet third. No Profit will renew rivalry with Roncal in the Group 2 Corsa Siepi dei Cuatro Anni in late September. At the other end of the age profile is Broughton a truly remarkable individual who won the cross country Premio Paolo Meandro over 4,100 metres from Power Zar. The son of Teofilo started out his career with Mark Johnston winning three times on the flat including the Gordon stakes at Goodwood. He then went hurdling with Denis O Regan winning the Scottish Triumph hurdle, started second favourite for the Cheltenham version after which he moved to the Aichner/Pepe Vana team, thirteen more wins ensued including the Grande Steeplechase Di Milano (G1) in 2017. In 2019 he joined the cross country scene where he has won the two biggest prizes the Premio Delle Nazioni(G2) over 6,000 metres and the Grande Steeplechase Di Roma (G3) twice. The former race will be Broughtons next target on September 25.
On saturday at the Tirol track we saw two promising two year old winners. Some Respect has shown himself a potential Gran Criterium candidate for Bruno Grizzetti in recent weeks but in the Premio Hotel Erika Tower Of Silence made a claim for the fillies equivalent the Premio Dormello with an impressive display. The Arcano filly is a full sister to the Premio Parioli (2000 guineas) runner up Cirano. Fabio Branca gave one of his master class front running rides and the daughter of the Footstepsinthesand mare Concerto Finale simply cruised home four lengths clear of Brando’s Power. One would imagine Grizzetti will next send the filly either to the Repubbliche Marinara in Rome at the end of September or perhaps more likely to the Coolmore in early October at San Siro
Alduino Botti by his standards is having a relatively poor time with his two year olds but the champion trainer introduced a promising colt in the Premio Ribot named Bahja Del Sol a son of The Gurkha who was a comfortable winner from the warm favourite Tempesti from the famous stables at Dormello. Dario Vargiu was very taken with the Joe O Leary bred youngster declaring him a very interesting colt. Grizzetti’s Ravens Pass colt Zirol was third, all the principles here were making their debut’s. Also on saturday 860 kilometres to the south in Naples Botti ran another of his two year olds the Pounced colt Mr Jingles who was a warm order for the mile Premio Teofane. However the man with so much two year old talent Sebastiano Guerrieri once again produced the goods with Wonka Willy (Estidhkaar-Ivy Batty bred by Gerard Colclough). Gabriele Cannarella and Salvatore Basile fought out a tight finish between the two debutants but it was the Sicilian trained and ridden duo who came out on top.
The Citta Di Merano (HPC) for three year olds over a mile was won by Air Bud from Gartoria and Cayodama with the older brigade’s version the Premio Delle Alpi going to the eight year old veteran Matey and Claudia Wendel. Racing this week will be in Varese on Tuesday (first 17,40), Naples on wednesday also first at 17,40,Corridonia on thursday, Follonica on friday, Merano,Varese and Naples all on saturday and on Sunday Merano and the return of Siracusa after the summer break. Hopefully the temperatures at the Sicilian venue will have fallen substantially from this weekend’s 48.8C. Highlights will be the Premio Di Merano(LR) for three year olds over 2,200 metres and one of the main trials for the Gran Criterium D’Autunno(G1) the Premio Bi-elle Di Luca Brus three year old hurdle over 3,000 metres. The video below shows Stex victory in the 2020 Premio EBF Terme Di Merano(LR).
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VIDEO: Stex winning the 2020 Premio EBF Terme Di Merano