What is it about Sardinia that produces great jockeys? Gianfranco Dettori and a certain son, the Demuro brothers, Dario Vargiu, Antonio Fresu and Andrea Atzeni to name the most famous are shining beacons of the riding talent coming from the beautiful Mediterranean island. Yesterday in Capannelle a forty year old from Ozieri in the North of Sardinia near the Sassari racetrack was on the verge of equalling the achievement of Frankie Dettori after winning the first five races. In the last he was on board the favourite Fuoriserie but his stablemate Come To Run did exactly that with champion Vargiu on board to deprive Sulas of a history making moment. Nevertheless Tore as he is affectionately known still had a wonderful day and is now four clear of fellow Sardinian Mario Sanna in the race for the Frustino D’Oro the Italian jockeys championship which has been held by Vargiu during the past four years.
Without doubt the best performance of the day was the five year old Blue Sky Dreamer who cruised to victory in the Siberian Express over a field all of whom had black type wins under their belt. Plagued by injury this was only the eight race for the son of Farhh who unraced at two won three out of four at three including the Scheibler(LR) in Rome when Alduino Botti’s colt looked like a potential star. However at four he only made the racecourse once when unplaced in the Gran Premio Di Milano. This year Botti gave him a pipeopener over 1700 metres before just failing to give 15 pounds in the Premio Edmondo Botti(HPC) on Derby day over 2400 metres. In the Premio Mei (HPC) over 2000 metres he was quite a comfortable winner with 61 kgs but without doubt his best performance since the Scheibler was yesterday. Blue Sky Dreamer seems to like Capannelle and the transfer of the Federico Tesio (G2) on September 15 over course and distance to the capital should suit him perfectly
Mooney Love by a Derby winner Australia out of a sister to no less than four Oaks winners (Sea Of Class, Charity Line, Cherry Collect and Final Score) is certainly bred to be a top middle distance horse but so far has been a bit disappointing. Alduino Botti’s colt was hugely impressive on his only outing at two on heavy ground which he hasn’t encountered since. Stefano Botti felt the ground would be too firm yesterday and Bell ‘Imbusto was the stables first choice as a potential winner of the 2000 metre Premio Senecio which attracted a strong field including the Botticelli winner Tiaspettofuori and the Derby fifth Rio Natal neither of whom ever looked like winning. The Helmet colt Bell’Imbusto winner of the Guido Clerici from Mooney Love on his last start set a modest pace only to find Sulas mount too strong at the end of the ten furlongs with Terrible Land third. This year’s classic colts are no great shakes but if Mooney Love finds soft or heavy ground later in the year he might just start living up to his enviable pedigree.
Speaking of enviable middle distance pedigrees Crystal Drake a son of Full Drago one of the best Italian middle distance performers in the last decade made an impressive debut over 1500 metres at Capannelle comfortably getting the better of Mr Jingles who had been runner up on his debut. Another son of a top middle distance champion Gaduli De L’Alguer a son of Highland Reel was a very easy winner at Chilivani today over 1200 metres going further clear with every stride. The Francesco Oppes trained colt was bred by Maria Marron of Palmer Hill Stud in Tipperary. Classic Falcon the dam was a winner twice over a mile and has already bred a two year old winner in Balance Of Power, Gaduli should make into a decent three year old. Most impressive two year old winner of the weekend was Island Of Love a seven length winner over 1200 metres at Rome on friday. The son of Kodiac out of a Shamardal mare is clearly very smart and one could imagine him running next in the Criterium Nazionale.
Merano as usual served up a top class jumping meeting and we are now only three weeks away from South Tirol’s great September festival of ” Ostacoli”. Al Bustan the venerable eleven year old winner of the 2017 Gran Premio Di Merano rolled back the years in the Group 3 Premio Mipaaf over 3900 metres with a comfortable 5 lengths win over Czech challenger Lodgian Whistle with Enola Gay third and favourite Quinze De La Rose only fourth after leading the field most of the way. A tremendous win for the Medecis gelding who will now return to South Tirol on September 26. The other group race on the card the Ettore Tagliabue for three year old hurdlers over 3,300 metres went to the Polish challenger Ocean Life who got the better of the Czech runner King Of Beaufay and Raffaele Romano’s King Power third. Romano leading the trainers table had one of those days when everything went awry as it did in the listed Azzienda Di Soggiorno Di Merano the last trial for the Gran Corsa Siepi Di Merano(G1) on september 25. Scuderia Aichner’s Prince D’Orage was the winner from Romano’s pair Live Your Life and Sky Constellation but it has to be said the runner up the winner of the Gran Corsa Siepi D’Italia(G1) was the victim of serious interference by Ivo. The winner was ridden by Luigi Maceli now back from France. The Premio Torggler Innovazione final trial for Corsa Siepi Dei 4 anni(G2) was won by Paolo Favero’s Big City who despite winning three hurdles this year has not lived up to his high reputation.He will get his big chance in three weeks.
Bruno Grizzetti was active at the yearling sales in Baden Baden, among his purchases were two progeny of Sea The Stars a colt named Alpha Source out of Ashina a group 2 winner over 2,400 metres and an unnamed filly out of Tapaze Blanche a winner twice in France and runner up in the Marcel Boussac(G1). Also in Germany the Spanish filly Kitty Marion won the group 3 Goldene Peitsche over 1200 metres from the 108 rated Majestic Colt. The Question is where does that leave The Conqueror who gave the Iffraaj filly eleven pounds and a one and a quarter lengths beating in the Premio Certosa. Another case of questioning the rating of Italian Horses is Artistic Rifles who won the Superior Mile (G3) on Saturday under Andrea Atzeni.The Lynn Lodge bred, Scuderia Zaro owned five year old has according to the Racing Post improved by 26 pounds since his win in San Siro twelve months ago. A truly remarkable improvement don’t you think?
Atzeni completed a terrific weekend winning the Haydock Sprint Cup(G1) on Emaaraty Ana and was third in the Be Friendly handicap on Blueberry’s Atalis Bay. Mirco Demuro kept the Italian jockey story going in Japan with yet another group win.
Speaking of The Conqueror Alduino Botti introduces his two year old half sister Spring Love by Australia tomorrow tuesday in Capannelle.Spring Love was bought at Milan yearling sales for 100,000 euro. Among the opposition will be Lady Harmony by Gleneagles out of Lady Dutch runner up in the Regina Elena who cost 58,000 as a goal. The Rome meeting on Friday will now include the two listed races postponed in Milan the Premio Fassati 1800 metres for three year olds and the Premio Bessero over 1600 metres for three and up. All the black type races up to and including October 3 scheduled for Milan will now take place in Rome including the big meeting on September 19. Remember you can see all the action here on www.italianhorseracing.com
VIDEO: Blue Sky Dreamer and Salvatore Sulas win the Premio Siberian express
VIDEO: Mooney Love and Salvatore Sulas win The Premio Senecio in Rome