The Racing Post this morning asked the question is Atomic Force the best juvenile in Europe after his win in yesterdays Prix Robert Papin (G2) at Chantilly. Kevin Ryans charge was a two and a half length winner from Vincenzo Fazio’s Baghed. The Italian colt won his maiden in Rome on May 1 and then went to win the Premio Dell ‘Avvenire in Milan. Fazio booked Cristian Demuro to ride the Twilight Son colt for the Premio Primi Passi(G3) where he was a five length second to Windstormblack who Sebastiano Guerrieri then sold to a Hong Kong buyer for an apparently huge offer. After the Papin that may look cheap as on form Atomic Force has two and a half lengths to find on the Bated Breath youngster. Sadly Windstormblack is in quarantine before going to the Far East, a huge loss to Italian racing. Baghed however did Fazio proud and Demuro feels there is better to come and the Prix Morny (G1) in Deauville is hopefully his next stop. But the question has to be asked will he too be heading to Asia. Another question for the European pattern committee with the superb performances of Aria Importante and Windstormblack how can the Primi Passi remain a mere group 3.
In Siracusa on Sunday an excellent evenings racing with no less than five of the six races going to Irish bred horses including the two principle races. The Premio Citta Di Siracusa (HPB 24,200 euro) for three year olds and upwards over a mile was won in a driving finish by the John Lyons bred grey gelding Murdanova from Perego with Siciliano Bello(Michael Maher) third and Thrifty One(Jim Bolger) fourth. Antonio Fusco timed his run to perfection on the son of Zebedee to give the Cannella/Cuschieri team yet another big winner. The Criterium Aretuseo (HPC 18,700 Euro ten furlongs for three year olds) was won by Mission Accomplise(Shalaa-Gaazaal) bred by the Mattock Stud.The increase in trip to ten furlongs on fast ground seems to have galvanized Sebastiano Cannavos lightly raced three year old who was a very easy winner. The Premio Il Trono Di Spade(1500m) for two year olds was won by Re Luck a locally bred son of Luck Of The Kitten who comfortably reversed form with Lady Affaire. Siracusa will now take a break until the second half of August.
Varese on Saturday witnessed a nice two year old of Alduino Botti’s in the Premio Gianclemente Terzaghi. Nepente (Mehmas-Petite Cherie) was bred by the Oak Leaf Stud in Offaly and was a very comfortable winner for Dario Vargiu from Beautiful Black a good winner in Milan who finished sixth in the Primi Passi. Petite Cherie was a winner at two for Ger Lyons. Nepente is certainly one for the notebook.
The National Hunt racing at beautiful Merano gave us a terrific battle between two highly promising four year old chasers in the featured Premio Alpha Two over 3550 metres.The likely favourite Lady Minx was a non runner and early on it looked like Salcret with his fearless jumping would win the day but three out he was joined by Josef Vana junior’s Overly Sweet and the two fought out a tremendous battle with the latter just getting the better of Romano’s horse with the rest a distance behind. The opening Premio Tatti Jacobo a hurdle over one mile seven furlongs was won by Mushrae bred by William Flood. The Kalanisi gelding is a half brother to Kyrie Eleison who won a grade 2 juvenile hurdle at Fairyhouse and also to Chasamax who won two novice hurdles for Nicky Henderson last month. Vana Junior also saddled the winner of the Jean D’Amour a two mile and three chase in Andoins and the champion trainer seems to be coming back in form as does Paolo Favero who saddled Aventus to win the four year old and up hurdle.
At Tagliacozzo Proiettile owned by the man who set up the Windstormblack sale Marco Bozzi and bred by P and J O Rourke followed up an easy win in June with a good win in the mile handicap.
Racing this week is Tuesday in Varese( 17.00) Wednesday in Naples(16.30) Thursday in Corridonia, Friday in Follonica and Sassari, Saturday Varese and Naples with NH in Merano and Sunday again in Merano and Tagliacozzo. All of those live here.