- Overnight rain left the ground heavy in San Siro on Sunday. We enjoyed a very good days racing although as a guide to future events in Capannelle at the end of the month caution is advised as similar conditions in Rome in three weeks are unlikely. The Premio Ambrosiano(G3) over ten furlongs was dominated by the visitors who enjoyed the conditions better than Masterwin or Ornais the favoured local candidates but take nothing away from the first three who are high class animals and will win good races.Grocer Jack trained by Waldemar Hickst in Germany was a comfortable winner from his compatriot No Limit Credit and the Aga Khan owned French trained Shalamba in third. Grocer Jack (photograph above with Marco Casamento) was always prominent behind the early leaders Stex and Aldrodovar and three furlongs out German based Italian jockey Marco Casamento sure of his mount’s stamina came to win his race at the same time as Ronan Thomas on Shalamba.A Good battle ensued but 100 metres from the finish Grocer Jack asserted his authority with No Limit Credit snatching second near the end.Grocer Jack rated 110 after the Preis Von Europa and the Prix du Prince d’Orange in 2020 had a good seasonal debut behind the Group 1 winner Skaletti in the Prix Exbury.The runner up No Limit Credit had won the Preis Berlin-Hopeegarten(G2) last autumn before finishing third in the Lydia Tesio.The daughter of Night of Thunder could return for the Presidente della Repubblica on Derby day.Third home Shalamba by Zoffany out of the Prix de L’Opera winner Shalanaya may yet live up to her ancestry.Another big achievement for the twenty three year old Sicilian jockey who with normal luck will be among the top jockeys in Germany this year.
The Emanuele Filiberto is one of the two major trials for the Derby Italiano along with the Botticelli.The ten furlongs in San Siro many consider as big a test as the 2200 metres in Rome so winners don’t usually have stamina doubts when they head for the Eternal City. Vento Di Passioni by Frankel out of Amber Silk a full sister to the Irish 1000 guineas and EP Taylor winner Just the Judge had won his only two starts and last time out in Rome over 10.5 furlongs had been a comfortable three quarters of a length too good for the subsequent Botticelli winner Tiaspettofuori. Despite the ground Fabio Branca’s mount started odds on in a field of ten where Glenearn and the German colt Blue Horizon were early leaders.At the tail of the field were Vento Di Passioni and his stablemate Flag’s Up.The Sardinian star set his mount alight two furlongs out and despite wandering over the track looked to be heading for a comfortable win until Mario Sanna got a real tune from the son of War Command and Baby Revolution(High Chaparral) who was one and a quarter lengths ahead of the Frankel colt with Wild Explosion third and Blue Horizon the best of the German visitors in fourth.Flags Up certainly was very impressive but he clearly likes a cut in the ground which as I say is unlikely in Rome.Vento Di Passione lost little in defeat and perhaps one of the big questions is who will Fabio Branca ride in the Derby. Sopran Poseidone or Tomiz from Bruno Grizzetti or Vento di Passione owned by Diego Di Romeo’s Incolinx both of whom he has retainers with.
Perhaps the most impressive win of the day was Badram in the Dormello colours for Riccardo Santini and Carlo Fiocchi in the mile Premio Salselon.Mukhadrams son is now six wins from nine starts and has clearly matured a lot.Badram was giving ten pounds to all of his opponents but comfortably held off the German trained Sean by one and a quarter lengths with the rest well beaten.Badram next target should be the Carlo Vittadini(G3) on June 6th but Santini might just be tempted by the Presidente della Repubblica(G2) on May 23 over an extra furlong. A definite candidate for the nine furlong race will be last years runner up Pensiero D’Amore who cruised to victory in the 1700 metres Premio Gentlewave in Rome on Sunday.Zoffany had a great day with Mother Earth in the 1000 gns at Newmarket and this frustrating horse has the potential to win a big prize and further enhance his sire’s international reputation.
Although soft, the ground in Rome was much better than in Milan.Alduino Botti’s filly Eulaila is now three from three after the Premio Mario Coccia where she had to do all the hard work leading from the start.A furlong and a half down Zangogna challenged and went ahead of the Arcano filly who fought back well to be a length ahead at the line.It was a decent performance and Botti might just give the filly one more run before the Oaks on May 22 in the Mario Incisa della Rocchetta.
There have been only a small number of two year old races so far but Sebastiano Guerrieri the Sicilian trainer based in Rome has produced some very fast horses who have been very impressive.Blu Metal Jacket won over Rome’s five furlongs in 57.9 on heavy ground a few weeks ago.Alessandro Botti in Chantilly was so impressed he paid big money for the two year old who is now in France.Guerrieri didn’t seem too despondent at the financial gain but stable loss, it wasn’t long before we found out why.The Ground in Rome was soft on Saturday and Guerrieri produced two more two year olds who were if anything more impressive.Windstormblack a son of Brazen Beau scorched up the track in 56.2 seconds six lengths clear of Don Chicco.In the Premio Marguerite Vernaut( A great Champion stakes winner) for fillies Royal Ashirah a daughter of Hot Streak bred by Michael Downey and Kildaragh Stud was just as impressive in 57.1 seconds.Royal Ashirah was bought for 13,000 guineas at Tattersall September sale.Aria Importante and Wakanaka lit up the racetracks in 2020 and Guerrieri has candidates to do something similar in 2021.
Paul and Billy Mcenery have bred a potentially serious sprinter in Royal Mehmas(Mehmas-Royal Majestic) who has improved hugely from two to three.Trained by Silvia Amendola and ridden by Carlo Fiocchi he is a half brother to the 115 rated Big Time Baby an eight time winner and a group 1 runner up in Hong Kong.Royal Mehmas might not yet be ready to challenge The Conqueror but he is certainly going in the right direction as we saw in Saturdays Premio Nikoli where he won well from Captain Magnum with Raifan a disappointing fourth.
It is truly remarkable the success the Tally Ho stallion Mehmas is enjoying in Italy. At the end of April with only twelve runners he is second in the stallions table only behind Arcano who has had 46 horses race.