Despite the sudden strike forcing the posponement of Saturdays card in Milan we enjoyed a very interesting few days in Italy. We can look forward to the most international racing weekend on the planet over April 30 and May 1 when in comparison to Newmarket where runners will arrive from three countries in Rome and Milan there will be runners from seven different nations with a multitude of different owners.
All of the attention in Capannelle last Sunday was on one horse. Tempesti a son of Albert Dock(Deep Impact) and Tender Hugs uniting Japanese blood to the historic lines of Dormello Olgiata has excited Italian galoppo enthusiasts like only a horse wearing the Saint Andrews crossbelts can.It all almost came unstuck in the Premio Botticelli (Lr 2100m) one of the two great trials for the Derby as team Botti had a plan to test Riccardo Santini’s big hope.Tore Sulas would set a stiff gallop to exploit Frozen Days stamina while Dario Vargiu would wait on the hitherto Parioli hopeful Bahja Del Sol both sons of The Gurkha. With three furlongs to go Frozen Day was ten lengths clear and Silvano Mulas finally got Tempesti into action but it looked an impossible task but he gradually got there winning by half a length.In this observers humble opinion it wasn’t horse or jockeys best day but at least the alarm bells have rung before the Derby.To be fair to Mulas he never panicked and Tempesti was not subjected to a hard race but
the Dormello horse cant be that far off the pace on May 22.
Tempesti’s big rival on the ante post market at least, the unbeaten Arrival (Australia) will run in the other major trial the Emmanuele Filiberto next Saturday at San Siro.
On Monday only a few hundred metres from Brunelleschi’s magnificent Duomo di Firenze the Visarno racetrack celebrated its most famous race the Corsa Dell’Arno a handicap principale A over 2200 metres.This year was the 195th running of the race making it the oldest thoroughbred contest outside of England.Team Botti in recent years have been attempting to follow the German example by trying to improve their middle distance performers with mixed results.Clorenzio Fan by the Montjeu Grand Prix De Paris winner Montmartre better known as a sire of top National Hunt horses such as Labaik and Elimay is an example of this. As with the national hunt horses he is improving with age and the now five year old is in the form of his life. Unraced at two after two decent wins in early 2020 he was given his chance in the Derby but was far too immature. As a four year old he gradually improved winning the Handicap principale D’Autunno before being third in the listed Piazza Dei Miracoli over eleven furlongs. On his reappearance he ran really well in the Regione Toscana (LR 2200m) when only finding the Gran Premio D’Italia winner Brigante Sabino better. Here carrying top weight he outstayed the improving Xeres (receiving six kilos) with Reggiolo third and Effevi’s Midnight Season fourth.Tore Sulas mount will probably next run in the group 3 Premio Carlo D’Alessio on May 22.
Two interesting Irish bred second season winners in Rome over the weekend,Star of Carina and Armandino.The Norelands Bloodstock bred filly was an easy winner over 1600 metres.By Lawman out of Silk Trail a sister to the Middle Park stakes winner Lujain. The Agostino Affe trained three year old was making her seasonal debut and clearly has potential.Armandino a son of Highland Reel and the Exceed and Excel mare Lily of Kenmare bred by Paschal Bolger and Thomas Frisby got the better of the derby outsider Lohengrin (Albert Dock).
Next weekend will be one of the highlights of the year with the opening two classics of the season in Capannelle on Sunday while on Saturday in San Siro as we said earlier the Filiberto and also the opening group 3 race of the season for the older brigade over 2000 metres the Premio Ambrosiano.In Milan on Sunday the two major ‘Ostacoli’ races at the Lombardy venue the Grande Steeplechase di Milano and the Gran Corsa Siepi di Milano both group 1 races on a superb jumping card with five group races.
We are expecting runners on a west to east basis from Ireland,Britain,France,Germany,The Czech republic,Poland as well as Italy.No other country can claim to have such international competition despite all the problems Italian racing has suffered recently.As well as that we will enjoy not only the quality of the best Italian jockeys clearly among the Worlds best but also the likes of Coolmore’s man in Paris Ioritz Mendizibal,German champion Bauyrzhan Murazabayev,the up and coming Ben Coen and of course the returning Andrea Atzeni.All of central Europes top jump jockeys will be at Milan for what promises to be a magnificent weekends racing.
A full preview here on Friday.
VIDEO 1: Tempesti wins the Premio Botticelli
VIDEO 2: Star Of Carina bred by Norelands B/S wins at Rome 1600m
VIDEO 3: Armandino bred by Frisby/Bolger wins at Capannelle over 2000 metres