Italian trainers may have lost out in yesterdays Oaks D’Italia(G2 2200m €388,500) but along with shrewd German breeders Italian racing was a big winner as this years race will surely help to bring back its rightful group 1 status. Nachtrose trained by the ever successful Peter Schiergen was a brilliant winner of the Oaks doing a coast to coast under German champion jockey Bauyrzhan Murzabayev.The Kazakh born maestro set a furious pace to test the stamina of favourite Swipe Up excellent winner of the Regina Elena and the partnership did it in style running away from the field and once again demonstrating German dominance at middle distance events. None of the opposition could get in a blow at Nachtrose with only her compatriots Atomic Blond a distant ninth in the guineas and Zefania able to mount any sort of a challenge. Once again Italian weakness at top level middle distance races was cruelly exposed by the methodical and consistent work done by German studs despite the overall poorer prizemoney and quantity of racing. Nachtrose won in a race record time of 2.12.2 three lengths ahead of Henk Grewe’s filly so much better over the extra 600 metres with a further two and a quarter lengths to Zefania three quarters ahead of Atamisque the best of the Italians. Swipe Up was a valiant fifth but once again EC Racing decided to stay in Italy with a filly unlikely to stay the distance while on her Guineas form she had every right to challenge for big prizes in England,Germany or France.
Nachtrose is bred to be a middle distance star being by dual Derby winner Australia out of the 2009 Oaks D’Italia winner Night Of Magic (Peintre Celebre-Night Teeny).Night Of Magic has already produced the dual group 1 winner Nightflower and is a sister to Neele dam of the German Derby winner Nutan and Nymphea winner of the Grosser Preis Von Berlin.Tesio himself would have approved and its clear local Italian breeders and others have much to learn from their German counterparts. Nachtrose with normal luck has a fine future ahead of her and it will be interesting to see the campaign which Herr Schiergen maps out for her.
Over a mile its a different story and once again Aria Importante delighted the big Milanese crowd with a sensational pillar to post win under Dario Vargiu. Twelve races at San Siro eleven wins, eight black type tells us what a quality mare the Scuderia Blueberry have on their hands. This was Aria Importante’s second win in a row in the Premio Carlo Vittadini (G3 €75,900)and one would imagine an Autumn tilt at the Vittorio Di Capua beckons for Twilight Son’s star filly. The 2020 Parioli winner Cima Emergency tried with all of his might to overcome Aria but she was having none of it. The John and Anne Foley bred Mordimi, finally showing why he was favourite for last years Parioli, was a good third and on this form a big prize is on the cards for the son of Morpheus. Wonnemond dual group winner in Germany was fourth.
Grizzetti Galoppo looked to have the answer to the Premio Giubileo (G3 2000m €72,600) with their two star fillies Sopran Basilea and Cima Star.The latter a daughter of Sea The Stars was runner up in the 2021 Oaks but at this stage she had had enough chances at this level but has failed to deliver and yesterday was no exception. Once again Murzabayev set out to exploit the stamina of a stoutly bred German Filly in this case Norge (Dylan Thomas- Nazbanou) Nazbanou was a winner of the Premio Di Merano (2200m LR) and is dam of leading German Derby fancy Narik (Ruler Of The World). Norge duly powered home a length and three quarters ahead of the runner up Sopran Basilea who was ridden very conservatively by Antonio Fresu something one would not normally say about the Sardinian star.The Night Of Thunder filly got into all sorts of bother trying to get a blow on the winner and one can imagine a very interesting rematch in the Lydia Tesio in the Autumn.
Fresu was seen in a very different light on Grizzetti’s Ipompierdiviggiu in the listed sprint the Premio Bersaglio(LR 1200m €40,700) where he used all of his skill and strength in an ultra tight finish involving four powerful sprinters. Ec Racings I Know Why bred by the Mountain View Stud was an excellent second with Collinsbay third and Mina Maccari fourth. Grizzetti has dominated the top Italian sprints this year with Agiato and Ipompierdiviggiu.
The Premio D’Italia(LR 2400m €39,600) was surprisingly won by the outsider of Alduino Botti’s pair Cime Tempestose(Gleneagles – Hassaya) bred by Turlough Boylan. This was his third win in five starts and he is clearly a colt on the upgrade but Frozen Days under Dario Vargiu who tried to make all fizzled out quickly in the final three hundred metres. Derby seventh Chelsea Gardens reversed placings with Lohengrin (Fifth at Rome) as they filled the placings. Finally at Milan Raccontero Di Te(Dandy Man bred by Patrick Headon) was a very good winner of the San Siro Sprint finale over 1200 metres in the same time as the Bersaglio.
Merano’s big summer jumping weekend saw the emergence on Italian soil of a top class female jockey in Charlotte Prichard who won the two big prizes on Saturday and almost the big chase on Sunday. Sadly her great performance was overshadowed by two terrible accidents.Skins Rock trained in the Czech republic by Zdenek Semenka has so often been the bridesmaid in big Italian “Siepi” races but on this occasion the French woman was able to take advantage of the falls of the two favourites firstly Mauricius and then sadly of Live Your Life. Raffaele Romano’s great champion had gone for glory after Mauricius fell and seemed to have the race in his pocket as they approached the second last but Live Your Life hammered into it, fell and unfortunately had to be euthanised. Skins Rock was left in front and cruised home nine lenghts clear of Piton Des Neiges with Laldann third. The eight year old Skins Rock was winning his tenth race and his second group 1 having won the 2020 Gran Siepi Di Milano. Live Your Life described by his owner Cristian Troger as the horse of a lifetime was a magnificent champion who will be bitterly missed by all in Italian racing. Fifteen wins for the son of Turati included four group 1’s and almost €300,000 in prizemoney.
Ms Prichard had previously won the Criterium Di Primavera(G2 3500m 4YO) on Machinos who made it four from four in 2022 as he held off the persistent challenge of the Polish challenger Isatis De L’Ecu.The Corsa Siepi Dei 4 anni(G2) in late September might see the rematch.
On Sunday it was all about chasing with three big races over the bigger obstacles.The highlight was the Grande Steeple-Chase D’Europa (G1 4600m) along with the Gran Premio De Merano itself one of the most challengeing national hunt races in the World. Pavel Slozil the leading Czech jockey was aboard the six year old Gangster De Coddes the big new star of the Aichner/Vana Jr team. The son of Secret Singer jumped like a stag until the fence after the wall jump when six lengths clear he got it all wrong coming down hard leaving Pavel Slozil in an immediate coma.The Czech champion was removed to Bolzano hospital where he remains in a coma but in a stable condition. The prognosis remains open for the next seventy two hours so we would like to wish Pavel well and hope he makes a perfect recovery. Eden Conti and Charlotte Prichard were left in front and looking as if the race was at their mercy but little by little the remarkable twelve year old Notti Magiche cut down the gap and as they approached the third last had hit the front.Try as they might the brave French pair could not recover and Notti Magiche forged onto his nineteenth win his fifth group 1 and over €400,000 in prizemoney.
Notti Magiche’s jockey Jan Feltejsek had a wonderful day winning not just the Grande Steeple-Chase but also a group 2 a group 3 and a listed in a star studded four timer.The group 2 Ezio Vanoni novice chase went to the rejuvenated Roncal trained by Pavel Tuma who along with Palm Springs simply jumped the opposition into oblivion. Roncal had a terrific season in the first half of 2021 in novice hurdles but then lost his way but here he completed an impressive treble over the bigger obstacles. The Premio Steeple- Chase D’Italia on September 24 will surely be his next big target.
The Group 3 Cross Country the Grande Steeple-Chase D’Europa was won after a very eventful race by Santa Klara son of So You Think bred by Finbar and Noel O Reilly. This was the seven year old mares seventh win her third in 2022 and easily her most important. Last years winner Almost Human finished second but the favourite Broughton King Artur and White Wood all fell when in contention.
At Siracusa on Saturday there was yet another Bated Breath juvenile winner in Miss Breath who kept her unbeaten record in the Premio Sagra over 1200 metres. The winner trained by Carmello Zappulla was bred by DG Iceton in Meath. Vega Magic(Lope De Vega – Oriental Magic bred by Kildaragh Stud) won the Premio Mile over 2100 metres. The Antonino Cannella trained horse is a half brother to Sea Silk Road just touched off in the Ribblesdale Stakes at Royal Ascot.
The Tuscan seaside city of Livorno opened its summer racing season on Sunday evening.There were two interesting Irish bred winners the remarkable City Of Stars (Lilbourne Lad – City Vaults Girl) bred by the Kennedy family in Co.Down won his sixteenth race for the Francesca Turri/Marco Galmarini team. Il Frantoio (Aclaim – Intimacy bred by Kiltown and Galteemore) won at the third time of asking in the juvenile Premio Giovanni Fattori just getting the better of the Rock Of Gibralter filly Ilse Krohn.
Racing this week at Corridonia and Sassari on Thursday, Friday will have meetings at Follonica and Naples,Saturday San Siro and Siracusa with three meetings on Sunday at Livorno,Merano and Tagliacozzo.
On Saturday we have two important listed two year old races the first really informative events for the Gran Criterium and Premio Dormello. We will have a preview on Friday.
VIDEO 1: Nachtrose wins the Oaks D’Italia
VIDEO 2: Aria Importante wins the Premio Carlo Vittadini
VIDEO 3: Notti Magiche wins the Grande Steeple-Chase D’Europa