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BOTTICELLI Tesio’s forgotten champion / Preview

BOTTICELLI WAS BORN IN 1951 A SON OF BLUE PETER THE 1939 EPSOM DERBY WINNER OUT OF BUONAMICA(NICCOLO DELL’ARCA).TESIO VALUED EPSOM DERBY WINNERS MORE THAN ANYONE AND EVEN THOUGH BLUE PETER SIRED OCEAN SWELL WHO WOULD EMULATE HIS FATHER IN 1944, BOTTICELLI WAS UNDENIABLY THE BEST OF HIS OFFSPRING.THE DORMELLO COLT’S DAM BUONAMICA WAS REMARKABLE, AS WELL AS BOTTICELLI SHE PRODUCED THE MAGNIFICENT RACEMARE BARBARA SIRANI WINNER OF TOP CLASS RACES FROM 6 FURLONGS TO ONE MILE AND SEVEN AND  BRAQUE FOR MANY  ALMOST RIBOT’S EQUAL BUT NORIOUSLY FRAGILE. BRAQUE WAS THE HIGHEST RANKED HORSE IN EUROPE IN 1957 WINNING THE DERBY ITALIANO,GRAN PREMIO DI MILANO AND ST LEGER BUT HE NEVER LEFT ITALY DUE TO HIS FRAGILE BONE STRUCTURE.

CAMICI OF COUSE RODE ALL THREE HORSES IN ALL THEIR RACES BUT BOTTICELLI BUILT HIS OWN PLACE IN HISTORY DESPITE BEING OVERSHADOWED BY HIS YEAR YOUNGER STABLEMATE,RIBOT.

BOTTICELLI WAS A PERFECT HORSE TO HAVE AROUND THE STABLE DOCILE BUT BRILLIANT.HE DISLIKED ONLY TWO THINGS TRAVEL AND ANYTHING WORSE THAN GOOD TO SOFT GROUND.AT TWO HE WAS UNBEATEN NEVER LEAVING MILAN AND ENJOYING GOOD GROUND UNTIL IN THE CHIUSURA WHERE  THE GOING WAS HEAVY AND HE FINISHED FOURTH.

AT THREE HE WAS ALMOST UNBEATABLE HE WON THE PARIOLI(2000GNS)BY FIVE LENGTHS,THE FILIBERTO,THE DERBY BY THREE LENGTHS,THE GRAN PREMIO D’ITALIA,AND THE GRAN PREMIO DI MILANO BEFORE EMBARKING ON A NIGHTMARE TRIP TO ASCOT FOR THE KING GEORGE.TESIO HAD PASSED AWAY AFTER BOTTICELLI’S WIN IN THE PARIOLI AND WOULD HAVE HAD SERIOUS DOUBT’S ABOUT THE TRIP TO ENGLAND BUT LYDIA,TRAINER UWE PENCO AND CAMICI BELIEVED WITH ANY LUCK BOTTICELLI WOULD BECOME THE FIRST ITALIAN WINNER OF THE KING GEORGE VI AND QUEEN ELIZABETH STAKES.
BOTTICELLI WAS A BIG AND POWERFUL HORSE  AND PREDICTABLY GOT INJURED EXITING THE PLANE IN LONDON.TROJAN WORK WAS DONE WITH THE GREAT COLT BUT ALL TO NO AVAIL AS 1954 ENDURED A TYPICAL ENGLISH SUMMER AND BOTTICELLI ARRIVED TO ASCOT ALMOST FULLY FIT BUT THE GOING BOGLIKE.HE RAN AS WELL AS HE HAD DONE IN THE CHIUSURA FINISHING FIFTH BEHIND THE QUEEN’S AUREOLE A GRANSON OF A TESIO GREAT DONATELLO.
LESSONS WOULD BE LEARNED AND RIBOT TWO YEARS LATER WOULD EASILY WIN THE KING GEORGE DESPITE RIBOT BEING A FAR MORE VOLATILE INDIVIDUAL THAN BOTTICELLI.

HAPPY TO BE BACK ON ITALIAN SOIL BOTTICELLI DULY WON THE FEDERICO TESIO AND COMPLETED THE TRIPLE CROWN WINNING THE ST LEGER ONLY THE THIRD HORSE IN HISTORY TO ACHIEVE IT AND UP TO NOW THE LAST. ALL OF SIXTY SEVEN YEARS HAVE PASSED BUT NO HORSE HAS MATCHED BLUE PETER’S FINEST SON.
BOTTICELLIS LAST RACE IN 1954 WAS IN THE GRAN PREMIO DEL JOCKEY CLUB HE ONCE MORE ENDURED HEAVY GROUND AND THE ARC FOURTH NORMAN BEAT HIM 2 LENGTHS.
THE TEAM IN DORMELLO FELT THAT BOTTICELLI COULD EVEN GO FURTHER THAN ONE MILE AND SEVEN AND HATCHED A PLAN TO ATTACK THE ASCOT GOLD CUP DESPITE THE COLTS AVERSION TO TRAVEL AND LIGHTLY SOFT GOING.NO HORSE SINCE GAINSBOROUGH IN 1918 HAD THE SPEED TO WIN A TWO THOUSAND GUINEAS THEN WIN A DERBY AND ST LEGER AND THEN A GOLD CUP, IMPOSSIBLE SURELY NOT EVEN CONSIDERING THE EPIC TRAVELLING INVOLVED IN THE 1950’S.

BOTTICELLI’S PREPARATION BEGAN IN THE ITALIAN EQUIVALENT THE COPPA ‘d’ORO DI MILANO OVER TWO MILES WHEN HE DESTROYED THE FIELD WINNING BY TEN LENGTHS.HE THEN FINISHED FIRST IN THE GRAN PREMIO DI MILANO THEN OVER 3000 METRES ONLY TO BE DISQUALIFIED BEFORE ENDURING PERHAPS THE MOST DIFICULT TRIP ANY HORSE ATTEMPTING A BIG RACE WIN HAS EVER UNDERTAKEN.

DORMELLO DECIDED AS BOTTICELLI CLEARLY HATED AIR TRAVEL THAT THIS TIME THEY WOULD GO BY RAIL AND BOAT.JUST AFTER LEAVING MILAN A LANDSLIDE BLOCKED THE TRAIN AND ALL SEEMED TO BE LOST BUT IN ENGLAND THE GOLD CUP HAD TO BE POSPONED BECAUSE OF A RAIL STRIKE,SO BOTTICELLI SET OFF AGAIN WITH HIS OWN SUPPLY OF PELLEGRINO WATER. A TEN HOUR STOP IN A PARIS RAIL SIDING ENSUED AND A FULL THREE DAYS LATER BOTTICELLI ARRIVED IN ASCOT. BUT LUCK FINALLY WAS WITH THE GREAT ITALIAN HORSE AS THE PREVIOUS WEEKS IN THE SOUTH OF ENGLAND HAD SEEN GOOD WEATHER AND THE GOING WAS FIRM
SO THREE DAYS HATED TRAVEL OR NOT BOTTICELLI DESTROYED THE FIELD AND COMPLETED THE REMARKABLE QUADRUPLE THAT WILL IN ALL PROBABILITY NEVER BE DONE AGAIN.THE MAGNITUDE OF BOTTICELLI’S AND OF COURSE ALL THE DORMELLO TEAM ACHIEVEMENT CAN BE BEST GAUGED BY THE FACT THAT IN THE 100 YEARS SINCE 1920 ONLY ONE HORSE HAS EVER DONE SO, BOTTICELLI WITH AS THE ITALIANS SAY WITH CAMICI “IN SILLA”.

LYDIA WANTED TO SHOW JUST HOW GOOD BOTTICELLI WAS BY RUNNING IN THE TEN FURLONG CHAMPION STAKES BUT THE COLT SUSTAINED AN INJURY AND RETURNED TO ITALY WHERE A WELL DESERVED RETIREMENT AWAITED.

BOTTICELLI BEST PROGENY INCLUDED THE DERBY ITALIANO WINNER ANTELAMI AND TWO ST LEGER WINNERS BEN MARSHALL AND TAVERNIER AS WELL AS THE HIGH CLASS FILLIES DORIS CRAMER AND SOVANA.

A REALLY QUIET WEEKEND IN ITALY WITH MODEST MEETINGS AT SASSARI AND VARESE ON SATURDAY AND TAGLIACOZZO,MERANO AND LIVORNO ON SUNDAY.THAT IS ALL ABOUT TO CHANGE NEXT WEEK AS THE COUNTDOWN TO A HECTIC AUTUMN ON THE FLAT AND JUMPS BEGINS.
NEVERTHELESS THE CRITERIUM TURRITANO AT SASSARI SOMETIMES THROWS UP A DECENT JUVENILE.ANTONIO COTTU WITH NO LESS THAN FIVE ENTERED ALL WINNERS DOMINATES THE EVENT. ANDROMEDA STAR BRED BY C MCNAMARA TWICE A WINNER IN SARDINIA AND FIFTH IN THE PERRONE BEHIND NEW COLLECTION AND BOTTLE OF BUBBLES WILL BE FAVOURITE.GURESI BRED BY JOLI RACING, KILLER GRAY BRED BY GER MCNULTY SUPER DESTINY BRED BY TJ ADAMS AND EWENTAMENTE BRED BY AMF PERSSE ARE ALL WINNERS AND WILL HAVE THEIR SUPPORTERS.

THE CRITERIUM MARSICANO AT TAGLIACOZZO ON SUNDAY IS ANOTHER INTERESTING TWO YEAR OLD RACE.SEBASTIANO GUERRIERI’S NATURAL WONDER WHO HAS BEEN RUNNER UP THREE TIMES IN A ROW, WOULD NOT BE WINNING OUT OF TURN WHILE THE MCNAMARA/ELVIDGE BRED EL NINO BENDECITO A GOOD WINNER OVER 1350 METRES IS ANOTHER ONE WITH A BIG CHANCE.HOWEVER I THINK THE WINNER MIGHT BE AIR SAMY FORCE BY THE SURPRISE STALLION OF THE YEAR SAMYSILVER MIGHT JUST COMPLETE A HAT TRICK FOR ALESSANDRRO RUIU AND GIUSEPPE ERCEGOVIC.SAMYSILVER’S HALF BROTHER TO TERESA MENDOZA, WINNER OF THE DUBAI DASH AT THE CURRAGH ON DERBY DAY,SAMYBUMBUM COMPLETED HIS HAT TRICK AT NAPLES LAST EVENING FOR SEBASTIANO GUERRIERI.AT AGNANO LAST NIGHT DARIO DI TOCCO RODE A FOUR TIMER TO BLOW THE JOCKEYS CHAMPIONSHIP WIDE OPEN.HE NOW LEADS DEFENDING CHAMPION DARIO VARGIU 79 TO 76 WITH SALVATORE SULAS ON 62.

AT MERANO THE HIGHLIGHT IS THE PREMIO VINCENZO POLLIO A 3800 METRE CHASE WHERE THE VANA/AICHNER TEAM’S ZIO REGINALDO LOOKING TO COMPLETE A HAT TRICK MIGHT FACE MOST OPPOSITION FROM THE POLISH INVADER OCEAN LIFE ALSO A WINNER HERE LAST TIME OUT FROM CALLISTEMON.
AT ASCOT TODAY GRIZZETTI GALOPPO’S NUMBER 1 JOCKEY ANTONIO FRESU JOINS FRANKIE DETTORI IN THE SHERGAR CUP INTERNATIONAL JOCKEYS COMPETITION.THE SARDINIAN STAR MIGHT WIN THE 3,20 0N THE WHIPMASTER FOR GARY MOORE.GRIZZETTI ALSO ANNOUNCED THAT THE TUDINI WINNER AGIATO WILL BE AIMED AT THE PRIX DE L’ABBAYE.

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