Bruno Grizzetti for the past two decades despite many travails has been one of Italy’s top trainers.Colourful,controversial and newsworthy the Varese native is always good copy for the racing press.Nobody can argue with his ability to train big winners and when he says that a horse is his derby colt people take notice.Grizzetti trained the winner of the Derby Italiano on two previous occasions, the great Rakti in 2002 and Cima De Triomphe in 2008.
Rakti under Grizzetti’s tutelage was slowly brought along in his juvenile year, after two placed efforts he won his last two starts in minor races at Pisa and Rome.As a three year old he won again in Capannelle in mid march before taking one of the main derby trials the Premio Botticelli.On the last Sunday in May traditionally Derby Italiano day Grizzetti’s colt got the better of Aidan O Brien’s Ballingarry(went on to win the Canadian International).Rakti would go on to win five more group 1 races including the Champion,Queen Elizabeth and Lockinge stakes.
Cima De Triomphe a son of Galileo is nowadays a top stallion in Argentina and sire of several grade 1 winners.As with Rakti Cima’s two year old career was a slowburner with a maiden win in Milan followed by a third place in the listed Premio Campobello.Initially backward at three he had two moderate runs over nine and ten furlongs before winning San Siro’s main derby trial the Emanuele Filiberto.In the Derby Grizzetti’s colt had a hard fought win over the Botticelli winner Permiso.Galileo’s son whilst having a fine career didn’t reach Rakti’s height’s but afterwards he did win the Premio Di Giubileo(g3)and the Brigadier Gerard Stakes(g3)at Sandown before finishing fourth in the famous Eclipse where Sea The Stars beat Rip Van Winkle.
In a recent newspaper interview Grizzetti described Sopran Poseidone as calm determined and a middle distance horse despite his sire.The Eileen Farrelly and Dermot Murphy bred colt is a son of Gutaifan and Ms Sasha Malia(Verglass-Ostwahl).The Rathangan couple have had great success with Ms Sasha Malia, so far seven foals seven winners in Ireland,England,Germany,Poland as well as Italy and attributes Sopran Poseidones stamina to her German grand dam Ostwahl a group 3 winner over eleven furlongs, coincidentally the distance of the Derby Italiano.Before the son of Gutaifan her best produce, also trained by Grizzetti was Sopran Artemide, Bungle in the Jungles first black type winner in the Premio Vittorio Crespi(listed)before been beaten a short head in the group 3 Premio Primi Passi in which the filly unfortunately picked up a serious injury.
Ms Sasha Malia named after Barack and Michelle Obama’s two daughter’s has also bred Chicago School a two time winner for Mark Johnston.Mantracker was a first time winner at Killarney before being sold to California and the triple German winner Dream of You.So impressed has Grizzetti been by the offspring of Ms Sasha Malia that he snapped up the 2019 filly Sopran Islanda by Yeomanstown stallion El Kabeir and the 2020 colt full brother to Sopran Artemide.Eileen and Dermot remain hugely ambitious for their wonderfully named mare and have sent her in 2021 to one of the stallions of the moment Showcasing.
Sopran Poseidone’s two year old career was more impressive than either Rakti or Cima De Triomphe.In September he opened with a win in a debutants race over 1500 metres(7.5 furlongs) in Milan.Again in San Siro over the same distance he comfortably won a conditions race with Alduino Botti’s Dark Foundation in second.Botti’s colt is a full brother to Thunderman, winner of the Group 2 races Premio Roma and Premio Presidente de la Repubblica in 2020.Soprans third race was a step up again in the listed Premio Campobello(the one in which Cima de Triomphe was third).Over nine furlongs the Gutaifan colt was hugely impressive winning by 3 and a half lengths from Bell’Imbusto who went on to finish first in the group 3 Premio Guido Berardelli in his next race over the same distance.
After that perhaps wisely Grizzetti put the colt away for the winter.He has said he won’t be tempted by the Parioli(2000 guineas)and that he will probably have only one run before the derby or perhaps a second if he is a bit backward.Either way its exciting times for the trainer based in Dormello home of the great Federico Tesio, the breeders based in Rathangan and the the former residents of a big house in Washington DC.