We enjoyed a tremendous weekend racing at Rome, Merano and Chilivani with one of the races of the year in Capannelle where five top milers were in contention to the line in a spectacular edition of the Premio Piazzale. Thunderman won his third group 2 race in the Federico Tesio and soft ground once again found out Aria Importante in the Cumani.
The Premio Piazzale in memory of the great Enrico Camici filled us with expectation for the upcoming Premio Vittorio Di Capua.The latter race lost its group 1 status in 2018 but it surely wont be long until it regains that status after this spectacular trial run in a time one and a half seconds quicker than the fillies equivalent The Premio Cumani and Lord Bays win in the Premio Isopach where the Nicholas Teehan bred colt had a very good win with last years two year old champion Vis A Vis onve again disappointing in third. Fabio Branca is going to be out of action for forty days enjoying the pleasures of his native Sardinia but he showed all his class in both the Piazzale and Cumani. In our weekend preview we predicted what a tremendous race the Piazzale was going to be and so it turned out with only the Parioli runner up Cirano being outclassed. Branca sent the Presidente Della Repubblica (G2 1800 metres) winner Attimo Fuggente into the lead from the off sure that he would last the trip better than the others. Pensiero D’Amore (Zoffany) and Bruno Grizzetti’s three year old Cantocorale kept close contact with Fulminix fourth, Cirano fifth and as usual Vargiu and Out Of Time out the back. Three furlongs out Tore Sulas went for his race on Pensiero D’Amore and maybe just hit the front but The Exceed and Excel horse put this challenger away only for Cantocorale (Helmet) to immediately threaten to take the race but again Branca and his partner resisted but then Antonio Fresu and last years Premio Ribot winner Fulminix stormed into contention hitting the front thirty metres from the line but once again the brave duo fought back and on the line Attimo Fuggente just god the nod from Endo Botti’s horse with Cantocorale a close third with Pensiero D’amore a short neck fourth a nose ahead of the fast finishing old Champion Out Of Time. The winner was remarkably brave resisting challenge after challenge but all five will fancy their chances in the Capua. The time of 1.36.73 was very quick on the soft ground.
The fillies equivalent the Cumani was also won by an inspired Branca on the German filly Flamingo Girl who just held off the Endo Botti trained Deadline with Aria Importante third. Dario Vargiu believes rustiness and losing her action caused the Blueberry fillies defeat but for me she just doesnt stay a mile on soft ground. In the Regina Elena over course and distance on similar ground she was a distant fourth behind Wakanaka. The race run in a time a second and a half slower than the colts equivalent must have owners of some of the top three year old fillies questioning trainers why their horses were not contenders as the closeness of Endo Botti’s filly to the winner either shows a remarkable improvement in form or that the quality of the race was moderate. Flamingo Girl the winner has decent recent form in Germany placed in a group three and a close fifth in a group two and all she could do was be brave under the Sardinian jockey and after getting the better of Aria Importante she courageously held off Deadline.
The featured Premio Federico Tesio (G2) was an entirely Alduino/Stefano Botti affair with Thunderman under Vargiu once again demonstrating his quality winning his third group two. Cristian Demuro tried to make Baptism’s stamina count setting a good pace that was enough to show up the limitations of Blue Sky Dreamer but the son of Blu Air Force showed all of his quality under Vargiu to give Giglio Sardo a one two with Fambrus a close third. Thunderman between Italian breeding bonus payments and prizemoney has earned over three quarters of a million euro and who is to say he wont add much more before the season is out. The Premio Roma will be Thunderman’s principle target in the Autumn while Baptism will surely be aimed at the mile and a half Gran Premio Del Jockey Club.
In Chilivani on Saturday the El Kabeir filly Sa Filonzana was a comfortable winner of the Criterium Sardo. Natalie Cleary in Wexford bred the daughther of the Tamayuz mare Solar Fire who has now completed a hat trick of wins that gives definite hopes of black type before the year is out.
The SGA yearling sales in Milan on Saturday showed an overall increase of 20% with the median rising 9% despite all the covid and governing problems afflicting Italian racing. Top price was a Sea The Stars out of March Madness for 120,000 euro a half brother to champion sprinter The Conqueror purchased by Scuderia Coctail who will be trained by Bruno Grizzetti. Second highest price was a filly by Almanzor out of the Epaulette mare Field Of Roses for 90,000 euro. With the prices obtained Irish breeders with yearlings with progenitors with Italian form should seriously consider Milan as a place to sell their offspring. An interesting purchase was a Mehmas colt sold for 50,000 euros to Mick Murphy of Longway stables.
A huge weekends racing coming up with high quality flat racing in Rome and Varese but without doubt the highlight will be the Great Italian National Hunt festival weekend at beautiful Merano in the South Tirol. A full preview on friday. National hunt fans anywhere will be enthralled by two days racing bringing top class hurdlers and chasers together from Italy, France,The Czech Republic,Germany,Poland and Slovakia. All the action will be live on www.italianhorseracing.com
VIDEO: Attimo Fuggente wins a tremendous Premio Piazzale