An exciting weekend ahead for fans of Italian Horse racing with four guineas trials,two races that will inform us more about the Derby and two Oaks preps. We will see the return to the track of the 2021 Champion two year old,Team Botti’s unbeaten chief Derby hope,the Queen of San Siro Aria Importante, the years second run for potentially the best filly seen in Italy this decade and without question the best Premio Signorino in years with the winners of two group 2 races and ten group 3 or listed.
All will face dificult tasks none more so than Don Chicco (El Kabeir) last years champion juvenile and winner of the Gran Criterium. Agostino Affe’s star will be giving weight all round and probably also fitness against most of his rivals.Don Chicco won three of his five starts and was runner up in the other two culminating in a comfortable win in Italy’s major two year old prize. Affe has booked Marco Ghiani for the Premio Gardone(LR 1600M €40,700) where Dario Vargiu and Vincere Insieme fourth in the Gran Criterium will reoppose on three kilos better terms.The son of Exceed and Excel won all his other three starts including the Criterium Di Pisa in December.
The Macha Bloodstock bred Lord Sakay ( Holy Roman Emperor) has already won the Premio Calvairate over the course and distance in March while Mr Thor(Acclamation)bred by Corduff Stud and TJ Rooney was an easy winner in Capannelle two weeks ago.
When Peter Schiergen sends a horse from Germany he has to be respected especially when German champion jockey Bauyrzhan Murzabayev is in the saddle.Fire Of the Sun already has been abroad this season when fifth at Chantilly behind the Gianluca Bietolini trained Deep Hope.An intriquing contest which will tell us a lot about the Parioli.
Alduino Botti has publicly declared that Arrival (Australia – Alta Fedelta) a half brother to top middle distance performer Brasilian Man is Cenaia’s top Derby hope. Dario Vargiu’s mount made his debut getting the better of current Derby favourite Tempesti and then impressively won the Premio Campobello from last weeks San Giuseppe winner Wonka Willy.After almost six months off the track Arrival returns in the ten furlong Premio Guido Clerici where he will face Cime Tempestose (Gleneagles bred by Turlogh Boylan) a nice winner over nine furlongs in March.Chelsea Gardens (Aclaim) won his only start also over 1800 metres and represents the powerful Grizzetti team while the Yeomanstown Lodge bred Ector De Maris (Camelot) won over ten furlongs at Pisa. An interesting runner from Hungary Insterburh who has won his only start at Budapest over a mile. Arrival even after a long lay off and conceding two kilos all round will be expected to win.
The opening race at San Siro the Premio Miss Gris sees the return to action of the brilliant Aria Importante (Twilight Son) who has lit up Milan over the past two seasons with some tremendous performances.The Scuderia Blueberry filly loves the track winning eight of her nine starts but she wont have it easy against Deadline another top filly who will be in receipt of three kilos.The Irish National Stud bred Alma Hera (Dragon Pulse) returned winning at Naples over nine furlongs but Aria Importante to win yet again at San Siro.
The three year old fillies Premio Seregno (LR 1600m €39,600) is a key trial for the Regina Elena and will feature challengers from France and Hungary.The French filly La Flaca was runner up in Marseille last time out but the Hungarian filly Different Illusion is maybe a bigger threat to the locals. Marco Ghiani rode her when second to Prichi in the Criterium Femminile at Rome and is again on board.
Amalaura (Raven’s Pass) has already won one of the recognized trials the Cesare Degli Occhi with Azul Bahia (Profitable) well back in third. Stablemate Full Of Champagne (Full Drago) won the Andreina at Pisa and Lady Shawhill(Anjaal bred by Madeline Burns) was a nice winner over course and distance in March.A difficult race to call but one to watch carefully.
Not to be outdone Capannelle stages an excellent card on Sunday with the Premio Signorino(LR 1800m €38,500) featured.As we said the EPC surely have to upgrade this race to group 3 status.Attimo Fuggente (Exceed and Excel) won this race last year on the way to winning the Presidente Della Repubblica(G2) and will start favourite on Sunday but he will be opposed by stablemate Vis a Vis (Mujahid) winner of the 2020 Gran Criterium (G2) and the recent Natale Di Roma(LR) where he had Attimo Fuggente two lengths back in third but the former had the advantage of a previous win earlier in March. Team Botti wont have it all their own way as Grizzetti Galoppo will run Cantocorale brilliant winner of the Premio Ribot(G3) last autumn. Helmet’s son was a little disappointing on his comeback when only third to Sean but the Varese trainers runners invariably improve significantly from their seasonal debuts.Frozen Juke bred by Michael Mcglynn now a six year old is consistency personified the winner of fourteen races many of them black type and as usual wont be far away.Rio Natal(Ringfort Stud),Tiaspettofuori and Unique Diamond are all high class horses but for me might find the nine furlongs on the sharp side.My Westwood (Mizzen Mast) is an interesting runner.Agostino Affe’s runner hasn’t been seen on the track for eighteen months when he was runner up in the Guido Berardelli(G3) but clearly he will come on from the run.Its hard to seperate the big three but the winner will be favourite for the Presidente and with Antonio Fresu back in the saddle Grizzetti’s colt might do it but its anything but a confident vote.
The Premio Saccaroa over the guineas mile will see last years Criterium Femminile winner Prichi (Awtaad bred by Austin Curran) on a retreiving mission after a disappointing return when only fourth in the Torricola behind Nonna Ercolina.She is opposed here by Queen Rouge one of last years top juvenile fillies who had a sharpner over 1200 metres behind Purciaretta.Others to keep an eye on are White Lips(Aclaim),Macasai (bred by Con Marnane),Terry De L’Alguer (Bred by Sandra Russell) and especially Attimo Fuggente’s half sister by Gleneagles Allison winner of her only start in November from Nonna Ercolina and who will have Dario Vargiu in the saddle.
Dolce Napoli(Mujahid) third to Nonna Ercolina in the Torricola steps up to 2100 metres in the Lorenzo Camuffo.Botti’s filly had won her first two starts and might meet most opposition here from the Highland Reel filly Giralda,the El Kabeir Is Arutas bred by the Turf club senior steward Joe Banaghan and the Ciaran Mcgrath bred Magnetic Eyes.
Finally on a hectic weekend perhaps the best wine for last as Telepatic Glances juvenile champion filly in 2020 tries to keep her unbeaten record in the opening Premio Azzurrina where she will be opposed by Rose Secret,Haven Park (Bred by Ashling Burke) and Chiaro Di Luna.EC racing hope that the Pride Of Dubai filly will win here here before the Vittadini or perhaps a big race abroad.Endo Botti and Cristina Brivio’s filly is held in huge esteem and great things were expected last year when an unfortunate injury kept her out of the French 1000 guineas.
The National Stud in Kildare enjoyed a double in Capannelle today with Travelling Well (Dragon Pulse) winning the featured Premio Chiumvi over 1000 metres in a quick 57 seconds and Ovvio (Garswood) in the last over 1200 metres. Sebastiano Guerrieri’s gelding now five is improving and can be a force in some of the big sprint races ahead.
VIDEO 1: The Irish National Stud bred Travelling Well impressive winner of todays Premio Chiumvi at Rome
VIDEO 2: Aria Importante wins the Premio Primi Passi