A mixture of good and bad in the World of Italian Racing this weekend. We will start with the good in that MIPAAF the state body which supervises all horse racing in the country has approved Livorno to reopen for racing perhaps as early as the end of the month. Reports in the Italian press speak of six meetings in 2021 and perhaps double that in 2022. The Caprilli track was a very popular venue for people holidaying on the beautiful Tuscan coast. It is expected the dates will be confirmed later this week.
Derby Italiano third Alastor trained by Gianluca Bietolini was a comfortable winner in Saint Cloud on Sunday in the race that followed Broome’s win in the Grand Prix. Bietolini will possibly run the son of Helmet in the Grand Prix De Paris. Next Sunday in Deauville will see the biggest Italian challenge abroad for quite some time. Bietolini will run Colosseo second in the Poule D’essai Des Poulains behind St Marks Basilica in the Prix Jean Prat while the Premio Tudini winner Collinsbay then trained by Luciano Vitabile now with Bietolini will challenge in the Group 3 Prix de Ris -Orangis. Sebastiano Guerrieri is sending the Perrone winner Royal Ashirah to challenge for the Prix Yacowlef(LR) over five furlongs. This will give the Roman trainer an idea of the challenge facing Windstormblack in the Prix Robert Papin a week later. Meanwhile Derby Italiano winner Tokyo Gold is heading for the Belmont Derby on July 10 where the opposition is expected to include Bolshoi Ballet.
The Bad news concerns the bogey of Italian racing the slow payment of prizemoney. The trainers association has issued a warning to the ministry that all payments must be brought up to date as the industry cannot cope with a six to eight month holdup in payments of prizemoney and subsidies to the racetracks. The statement was a thinly veiled threat that action would be taken unless the situation is addressed.
The Weekend’s racing highlight was in Siracusa where the traditional Coppa D’Oro Di Siracusa a Handicap Principale B over just shy of a mile and a half was surprisingly won by Eltabal at odds over 15/1. The Morpheus five year old has recently joined Laura Di Stefano’s stable and was bred by Bill and Samuel Farrell along with Mick Conroy in Kildare. While reasonably successful with four wins in his career before joining Di Stefano he has improved as his new trainer stepped him up in trip. In the Premio Endo he came late with a nice turn of foot to get the better of Guapo. Despite receiving over ten kilos from Big Rope and Immortal Romance most punters felt those two, Orange Suit and Perego would be the principle contenders.However the race panned out as in the Endo where the Irish bred produced a storming finish to claim the spoils. The Mediterraneo track saw a promising two year old My Sweetie win the seven furlong Criterium D’Estate very comfortably. The daugther of Luck Of The Kitten and Marbella Girl is bred to be very quick but stayed on well here.The Premio Lucullo for three year olds over ten and a half furlongs was won by Brasilian Jet (Markaz-Saxum).The dam was trained by Edward Lynam and this colt bred by a syndicate can win some good prizes.
Tagliacozzo staged a nice card on Sunday with two excellent Irish bred winners on the sand. Principe Di Toni (Zoffany-City Image) was completing a hat trick of wins in the Premio Ascanio( 3yo 2150m) and the colt trained by Paola Aragoni and bred by P & B Bloodstock in Abbeyfeale is clearly on the upgrade. He is a half brother to the lightly raced four year old World of Windhover who won in Kempton a few days earlier. The dam City Image won the listed Empress Stakes over six furlongs. The Castlepollard based businessman Pat Beirne is having a very good run in Italy and this continued in the Premio Tuttoippicaweb over a mile on Sunday when the Endo Botti trained Special Hands was an easy winner.
On the National Hunt (Ostacoli) front in Merano the Knocktartan House bred Knapsack was a most welcome winner for Paolo Favero in the Premio Luca Brunoro over 3000 metres. The Nathaniel filly was winning for the third time this year for the South Tirol trainer who has been out of luck recently.
We have a nice card in Varese this evening first off at 17.00) the highlight being the Premio Ermolli (HPC 1500m) at 18.30 where the Delvin bred Win The Best trained by Endo Botti will probably start favourite.In a field of twelve, half the runners are Irish bred.
Racing is in Naples (Wednesday 16.30),Corridonia (Thursday 20.20) Sassari, Follonica and Varese on Friday, Naples and Milan on Saturday and Siracusa and Tagliacozzo on Sunday. The Naples card on Saturday is one of the Agnano tracks major meetings and features the Premio Citta Di Napoli over five furlongs whose last two runnings have been won by the Champion The Conqueror. Watch all the action live here.