Nine days out from the 2021 Derby Italiano and the outlook is as clear as Epsom was before the Derrinstown.We will try and shed some light on at least the home trained runners as it will not be clear until early next week who is coming from abroad.Unlike the Regina Elena where the fillies were clearly above average and trials were convincing nothing similar has occurred with the colts either for the Parioli or the Derby.In an attempt to bring some clarity I will divide the contenders into three groups,The star two year olds,the experienced types and those promising the stars.
Sopran Poseidone(photograph above with Tomiz) was the stand out two year old fourth top in the country and unbeaten in three starts including the Campobello a race with a tradition of Derby winners and the fact that Bell’Imbusto three lengths second came out and finished first in the Berardelli even though he lost the race in the stewards room. Commentators worry about a Gutaifan staying eleven furlongs but the stamina comes from his dam Ms Sasha Malia by Verglass.Sopran Poseidone has not ran badly in his two trials looking in need of the race in the Guido Clerici beaten just over three lenghts by Bell’Imbusto and then third in the Botticelli beaten half a length giving four pounds. Bell ‘Imbusto a son of Helmet has been put away by Alduino Botti since the Clerici and I suspect will be the stables number one choice but no more than Aidan O Brien at Epsom or the Curragh there are no guarantees he will even be the stable’s best. Brigante Sabino by Zoffany out of a Galileo mare was the other high class two year old impressively winning his first two starts including an excellent win in the Le Marmore from the smart My Westwood.He then was very disappointing in the Berardelli before recording a really good win in the Brigadier Gerard on his seasonal return.Inexplicably he then ran very poorly in the Botticelli but it is significant that Tore Sulas who rode him in his best two wins rode Mooney Love in the latter race.
Of the Experienced types Tiaspettofuori will be having his tenth race in the Derby after his surprise Botticelli win for Devis Grilli and Dario Di Tocco.This victory was no fluke as he had previously been third in the Brigadier Gerard and second to Vento Di Passioni in the San Giuseppe.Also among the experienced group is the Filiberto winner Flag’s Up who on the surface did the most impressive trial of all over San Siro’s ten furlongs comfortably disposing of Vento Di Passione.The stamina is obviously coming from High Chaparral sire of his dam Baby Revolution who herself won the Premio Nogara over seven furlongs. Rio Natal by Sir Prancealot out of the Azamour mare Dansalong was bred by Ringfort Stud in Rhode an establishment that has had great success in Italy.Rio Natal didn’t see a racecourse until December when he finished third in Naples.In January he won his maiden in Rome on the all weather and then won a handicap principale over nine furlongs in Naples.His trainer Luigi Di Dio tried him in an early Parioli trial over a mile but the colt found the trip too sharp.Subsequently he finished fourth in the Premio Tony Bin behind Glenearn.However by far his best performance came in the Botticelli finishing fastest of all he just failed to catch Tiasspetofuori with Sopran Poseidone third. The Son of The Gurkha Wild Explosion has improved out of all recognition in his four runs in 2021 winning his maiden in Pisa over ten furlongs in January second to Rio Natal giving away almost a stone,winning the Renzo Guidotti over nine and a half furlongs before finishing third in the Filiberto.
Without Doubt, it is amongst the beautifully bred promising colts that an outstanding colt may emerge but there are only hints of real potential right now.Tomiz a son of Zoffany has looked a possible star in the making in his two starts, first time out in a maiden and then in a good conditions race when a little less green and a nice turn of foot. The Frankel colt Vento di Passione was likewise very impressive in his opening two starts. In the Filiberto as with Tomiz Fabio Branca wasn’t hard on him when Flags Up had flown. If ever a horse was bred to win a Derby it is Mooney Love by Australia out of a sister to four Oaks winners one of whom Sea Of Class won two(Irish and Yorkshire) and was runner up in the Arc. Mooney Love made a lovely debut over ten furlongs finished second in the Guido Clerici and was a little disappointing in the Botticelli when only fourth.The extra furlong is sure to suit.
Roberto Biondi bought Fayathaan for Luigi Roveda to challenge for the Parioli and we saw the result.Now the duo have bought the promising Lope De Vega colt Juan De Montalban a winner at Goodwood over nine furlongs at two and at Sandown in April over an extra furlong.Andrew Balding had entered the Ballylinch bred colt for the Derby Italiano and the dynamic duo have invested heavily again to see can lightning strike twice.
From Abroad there will be challengers from France,Germany and Britain so a full preview next week when we will also look at the Presidente De la Repubblica and the Tudini among other top class races.
This Weekends racing is clearly not of the same quality as we will witness next weekend when we will have three wonderful days racing in Milan on Saturday Rome on Sunday and in Merano on Monday with a high class jumps meeting. Nevertheless we will enjoy some very interesting fare at Milan and Siracusa on Saturday and Milan, Rome and the opening of the summer jumps scene in beautiful Merano.
The two year old programme gets into top flight this weekend with no less than seven races for the juveniles. Sebastiano Guerrieri has dominated the opening races in Rome but is not a big fan of sending his horses to Milan where we will see challengers from Germany and Alduino Botti and Bruno Grizzetti’s first youngsters of the season.Ralf Rohne sends Aggenstein for the Enrico Baragiola over six furlongs where the Deer Forest Stud bred Cioe and Air Tango a half brother to multiple winners bred by Sean Sweeney will be in opposition. Lollipop Girl a Dandy Man filly bred by Ciara Eglington of Collegelands Stud in Meath will be the Alduino Botti challenger for the Mimma Wener for two year old fillies over six furlongs.She is a half sister to two listed winners in Italy.
There are some highly competitive handicaps over the weekend,perhaps the best of which is the Premio Desio over a mile in Milan where among the favourites will be Sparklealot trained by Angelo Candi and bred by Lynn Lodge Stud in Killucan with Arthur Finnan.The Sir Prancealot gelding has been a great workhorse winning six times already and might just add to his tally here.
It is always a sign that summer is here when Merano opens its summer jumping season. Mensch taken out of the Grande Steeple Chase Di Milano might just win the opening Premio Val Di Non for Raffaele Romano. The Brescia trainer could complete a double in the traditional Premio Conde for novice hurdlers with Lucechericama a decent sort on the flat. An interesting runner here is the Diego Romeo Incolinx owned Gaiusar a winner four times over ten furlongs. If Incolinx were to get serious about the “Ostacoli” it would be great news. A full report on Monday evening and remember to watch all the action on the site where you might also enjoy the Poule D’essai des Poulains and Pouliches.