This weekends racing features San Siro on Saturday and Sunday,Siracusa on Saturday and Capannelle also on Sunday.After last weeks terrific programme and next weeks classic meeting in Rome this weeks offering is at a slightly lower level but offers plenty of interesting fare.
Over the past few weeks we have seen the return to action of two of Italy’s three 2020 champions. Middle distance king, Thunderman and the champion miler of the past two years Out of Time. Both horses have been beaten on the two occasions they raced albeit with different performance levels.
Thunderman will clearly be a contender in the top middle distance races but Out Of Time maybe just that. The third 2020 champion reappears in the Premio Certosa(LR) yet another top Italian race butchered by not only Italian state inefficiencies but also a European pattern committee with contradictory standards.(We will have an article on this situation shortly and its woeful affects not only on the thousands employed in the Italian thoroughbred industry but hundreds of small and medium Irish breeders).
The Conqueror(Excelebration-March Madness (photograph above) was totally dominant in the Sprint arena in 2020 winning all the top races the Primi Tudini(G3).Premio Aloisi(G3)Citta Di Napoli(LR)Omenoni(LR)and last years version of the Certosa.
His only defeat in eight starts came in the Premio Bersaglio(Lr).Alduino Botti’s colt is now a six year old and will be giving from 8 to 18 pounds to six rivals who mostly have had at least one run under their belt.The obvious danger is the four year old Bated Breath gelding Agiato from Bruno Grizzetti’s stable.Agiato has already two good wins under his belt this year and in the autumn was the horse who got nearest to The Conqueror.If Agiato is ever going to get the better of the champion Sunday must be the day.
The Certosa is a truly international contest with Ponntos from Czech champion Miroslav Nieslanik”s yard hoping to make it three from three in Italy after two good wins in both Rome and Milan last autumn.Ponntos(Power-Blessing Box) was bred by Liam Butler and Churchtown House Stud in Mallow.
From Spain we have Kitty Marion a daugther of Ifraaj who has won her last three starts in Madrid including the listed Premio Chamartin.
An interesting runner is I Am Magnetic(Mehmas-Lilium) who finished third on his Curragh debut behind St Marks Basilica and who finished second in the Premio Dei Laghi on his last start.I Am Magnetic was bred by the Ringfort stud in Rhode who have produced several high quality sprinters in Italy including Harlem Shake.
Agiato in receipt of eight pounds to get the better of a rusty The Conqueror.
The opener on the card the Premio Pessano features some Derby hopefuls of which Tomiz(Zoffany-Monjouet)is possibly the most interesting.Bruno Grizzetti’s colt won his only start over course and distance impressively and could be anything.The Botti pair Bulldozer and Introvert will show us if he has serious potential.
The days Handicap Principale the Handicap Di Primavera over nine furlongs is a competitive affair.Storm Shelter(Gale Force Ten-City Vaults Girl) from the Luciano Vitabile yard will be well fancied.The late Brian Kennedy of Meadowlands stud in Co.Down bred the gelding whose half brother City Of Stars(Lilbourne Lad) won his thirteenth start in Rome at the end of the month while his half sister City Red Girl(Cappella Sensevero) won in Siracusa in August.
I have a sneaking feeling that the Thomas Lennon bred Aurelius in Love could return to a bit of form here.Second in the Filiberto and then sixth in the Derby he had a quite opener here at the end of March and with 59kgs(9 stone 2) and the assistance of the inform Silvano Mulas(see his apprenticeship! in the Palio section) has to have a chance.Another not to discount is the Aidan Sexton bred Mesocco(Power-Mafaaza)who is due a win after going close in similar handicaps.
Meanwhile in Capannelle Sexton’s amazing Change of Moon tops the weights in the Premio Torcicollo over nine furlongs.The nine year old son of Le Cadre Noir-Acate has just won three in a row to reach the milestone of 26 wins.Melania Cascione’s stable star will have the assistance of inform Gabriele Cannarella but even so 63.5 kgs might be too much weight on this occasion.
The card in Rome is almost completely full of competitive handicaps .
In the Ippodromo del Mediterraneo in Siracusa on Saturday two remarkable Irish breds will run at the Sicialian track. In the opener over 9.5 furlongs Voice of Love(2013 Poets Voice-Snowfield) a winner of five group or listed races and is having his second run in two years after a pipe opener two weeks ago.He is a half brother to another multiple stakes winner in Time Chant and to Bruno Grizzetti’s Cima Star(Sea The Stars)an impressive winner on her debut but only fourth in the Seregno behind Aria Importante.
The Jean Brennan(Kilmallock) bred Swift Approval(Approve-Tiltili) is a listed winner in Cologne and has won in Scotland England,France,Germany and Italy.The globe trotting nine year old has a decent chance in the Premio Heraklion over 1500 metres.Ms Brennan will have even bigger fish to fry next weekend when Wakanaka will be among the fancied runners for the Regina Elena(1000 guineas)
Enjoy and remember races can all be seen in the results section.