Spring has really arrived, the first two listed races of the year featuring the top rated three year old of 2021,The 2020 two year old champion,four important trials for the Parioli and Regina Elena and the opening of both the San Siro flat and jumping seasons. Treviso will also keep jumpimg fans happy on Saturday while Siracusa and Pisa will also stage cards on a super busy weekend.
We will begin with the long awaited return of beautiful San Siro where on Saturday one of the ante post favourites for the Parioli (2000 guineas) will reappear in the Premio Calveirate. Bruno Grizzetti looked to have a certain champion two year old in Some Respect until he stopped like a shot in the last 100 metres of the Grand Criterium. He had been hugely impressive in the Vittorio Riva, Premio Delle Aste and the Criterium Varesino all over 1500 metres. The son of Gleneagles will again face 1600 metres on Saturday but will face nothing of the class of Don Chicco, although Vento D’Estate a son of the French Grand Criterium winner Dabirsim and an Italian 1000 guineas winner showed lots of promise at two winning the valuable Castello Sforesco over the course and distance in November before having a nice seasonal introduction behind Dalek in Rome. The Macha Bloodstaock bred Lord Sakay ( Holy Roman Emperor) was a good winner on his debut at Varese before finishing sixth in the Criterium di Pisa. Some Respect to win but many will be watching those last one hundred metres.
The fillies equivalent, the Premio Degli Occhi produced the 2021 guineas winner Wakanaka and although Amalaura, the Ringfort Stud bred Azul Bahia, Zittella,Tower Of Silence and Insomma are all high quality fillies I doubt if any of them can repeat the wonderful spring of the Jean Brennan filly who has just finished second in the Honey Fox Stakes at Gulfstream. Amalaura runner up in the Mantovani as well as winning good prizes at Pisa and Milan can get the better of Insomma and Cirano’s full sister Tower Of Silence.
On Sunday Capannelle has a tremendous meeting with some of Italy’s best horses on view, The Premio Torricola will give racing fans a big insight into the Regina Elena with two of the top juvenile fillies of 2021 making their seasonal bow. Highland Reel had a great first season in Italy where the Premio Dormello(G2) winner Atamisque was clearly his star performer. A very good winner over the course and distance on her debut Atamisque simply destroyed the field in Italy’s premier race for juvenile fillies. Alduino Botti’s filly was deservedly champion two year old filly but faces arguably her nearest rival on Sunday in the Austin Curran bred Prichi (Awtaad) also unbeaten as a two year old. EC Racing have booked Christian Demuro to ride Prichi who after an impressive debut in Florence was a good winner of the Criterium Femminile over 1500 metres. There want’t a more consistent two year old than Sebastiano Guerrieri’s and Melanie Cascione’s Queen Rouge a three time winner including the Coolmore before being fourth in the Dormello. The daugther of Samysilver had a nice warm up over six furlongs behind Purciaretta so should strip fitter than most. Another Highland Reel filly Giralda is two from three while Dolce Napoli is another who has already run in 2022 and also is unbeaten but Atamisque to get the better of Prichi (receives 2 kgs) who just might prefer a longer trip in her second season.
The colts equivalent the Premio Daumier attracts Baghed who will also have ‘Demurino’s’ assistence. Vincenzo Fazio’s son of Twilight Son a three times winner as a juvenile including the Premio Rumon was runner up in both the Robert Papin(G2) and the Primi Passi(G3) as well as being third in the Gran Criterium (G2). Top Class form but the big question is can he stay a mile. The Joe O Leary bred Alduino Botti trained Bahja Del Sol(The Gurkha) won his opening two starts before being third to Some Respect in the Vittorio Riva and second to Baghed in the Rumon. Receiving six pounds over an extra one hundred metres might just be enough here. Two very interesting runners are Agostino Affe’s Costantinus (Ulysees-Dilmun) an impressive winner on his only start this month over nine furlongs and Kronangel (National Defence) bred by Platinum Bloodstaock in Kildare.EC Racing’s colt on his second start was a course and distance winner earlier in March.
The opening Premio Natale Di Roma (LR €38.5000 1600m) is an intriquing contest which brings some of the best older milers together. Attimo Fuggente winner of the Presidente Della Repubblica(G2), the Piazzale (G3) and the Signorino(LR) all in 2021 was for some the best miler in the country in the first half of the year. The son of Exceed and Excel and the Italian 1000 guineas winner Vague Nouvelle will have the assiatance of Dario Vargiu but will face stiff opposition from 2020 champion two year old Vis a Vis (Christian Demuro) and the 2020 Premio Ribot winner Fulminix. The John and Anne Foley bred Mordimi started favourite for last years 2000 guineas but never lived up to those hopes will have another chance here as will the John O Connor bred Infinity Focus who had a very good All Weather season over the Winter.
Meanwhile in Milan Bruno Grizzetti runs his two star milers Cantocorale and Cima Emergency in the Premio Altieri. Cantocorale was champion three year old miler 2021 (RPR 111) winning
the Ribot(G3),Fassati(LR) and Estate(LR) while the son of Canford Cliffs(RPR 113) was the 2020 Champion and Parioli winner. Jockey bookings suggest Cantocorale is the most forward while Team Botti’s Closer Look can fill the minor placing. The fields for both races show that at least as far as milers are concerned Italy is in a good place especially as EC Racing’s brilliant unbeaten mare Telepatic Glances returned after a years absence in Capannelle last Tuesday with a most impressive performance. The daughter of Pride Of Dubai, the 2020 Dormello winner is now five from five.
The Premio Circo Massimo(LR 2000m €38,500) is a most interesting contest. Brasilian Man last year’s winner and Premio Ambrosiano (G3) 2020 winner has not seen a racecourse since so is best watched here despite Dario Vargiu being in the saddle. Devis Grilli’s horses are on fire and the 2020 Botticelli winner Tiaspettouori who warmed up with a comfortable win over couse and distance is an obvious candidate. Larry a winner at Lyon and Pornichet La Baule is the sole foreign challenger but the favourite will be Flag’s Up (OR 114) winner of the Filiberto and Scheibler and second in the Premio Roma(G2) behind the champion Skaletti. Team Botti will expect the son of War Command to win here and will listen attentively to Christian Demuro’s advice about future targets.
Jumping fans can enjoy the mixed cards at San Siro on Sunday and Treviso on Saturday. The highlight is the Premio Corrona Ferrea for four year old hurdlers at Milan which will see Scuderia Aichner give the 2021 Premio Parioli 2000 gns third Wopart his debut. Once again we are seeing more and more quality coming through to the Italian “Ostacoli” scene. The Aichner/Vana team run another high class flat performer Carobbio in the Premio Mogliano Veneto at Treviso on Saturday where as with Wopart will likely face most opposition from a Paolo Favero trained son of Zoffany in this case either Love Of Zoffany or Zankala while in Milan its Thorin Oakinshield. Yet another son of Zoffany Imperial Red might give the Tirolian trainer a win in the Premio Oderzo at Treviso.
A tremendous weekend ahead and you van watch it all here on wwww.italianhorseracing.com
VIDEO 1: Atamisque wins Premio Dormello(G2)
VIDEO 2: Telepatic Glances now 5 from 5 returns after 1 year in Premio Surdi