A very busy weekend in Italy with excellent cards on Saturday,Sunday and Monday.The top sprinters will be in action on Saturday in the Premio Certosa (LR 1000m) at Milan.At Capannelle on Sunday the Premio Botticelli (LR 2100m) will hopefully clarify somewhat the Derby situation while at the Visarno track in Florence on Monday we will enjoy the 195th running of the Corsa Dell’Arno over 2200 metres.
Before that though lets have a quick look back at midweek happenings.Sopran Basilea (Night Of Thunder – Kathy Best) winner of the group 2 Premio Lydia Tesio and group 3 Verziere in 2021 with an official 112 rating made her seasonal debut winning the Premio Monza at San Siro in a canter.Bred by Aidan Sexton of Sweep Lane Stud it is on the cards that Bruno Grizzetti will send the Leonardo Ciampoli owned mare to France for some big prizes.
The richest race on Wednesday’s card was the 1500 metre Premio Ornago which was won by the Carlo Fiocchi ridden Emilio Premoli trained Denaar who had three quarters of a length to spare on the Con Marnane bred Diamond Dougal.The winner by Acclamation bred by Gerry Burke was winning for the eight time and has now earned over €130k for connections.
Saturday at San Siro features the Premio Certosa over 1000 metres the first big sprint race of the season where Grizzetti Galoppo’s now five year old son of Bated Breath Agiato will begin the defence of his champion sprinter title.In 2021 Agiato got the better of The Conqueror over the minimum trip in the Premio Omenoni and a furlong further in the Aloisi (G3) both races in Rome. Antonio Fresu’s mount is back in Milan on Saturday where he will face stiff opposition from the likes of EC Racings Sphere Of Fire bred by Noreen and Liam O Donovan.The Dawn Approach mare a one time guineas contender has impressively won her two starts in 2022 both over 1200 metres. She was particularly smart in the formerly G3 Carlo Chiesa. Collinsbay was a good winner of the Premio Tudini(G3 1200m) last june but subsequently disappointed.The Czech champion Ponntos bred by Liam Butler and Churchtown House was sixth in the Prix de L’Abbaye(G1) and has won in Milan as a juvenile.There is a Franco/Italian challenger in Wejdan who is trained by Maurizio Guarnieri who has won twice at La Teste Buch and was fifth in the G2 Lowther stakes at York.The Irish National Stud bred Travelling Well cant be ruled out but Agiato to get the better of Sphere Of Fire and Collinsbay.
On the same card the three year old sprinters meet in the Premio Iseo over 1200 metres. Ghepardo Da Todi (Muhaarar) is on a four timer but will face stiff opposition from the Foxland stud bred Chiaroscuro and the Mountarmstrong bred Come On Captain.
On Sunday in Rome one of the principle Derby Italiano trials takes place the Premio Botticelli over 2100 metres.Named after the last Italian triple crown winner in 1954. The same colours from three quarters of a century ago will be carried by long time Derby favourite Tempesti (Albert Dock) who will be having his second run of the season after a comfortable win in the Premio Brigadier Gerard from Di Lido,Frozen Day and Willy Wonka who all reoppose here.Willy Wonka (Estidhkaar) bred by Gerald Colclough went on to win the Premio San Giuseppe from Frozen Day who was later was placed third with Di Lido fourth. Bahja Del Sol like Frozen Day is a son of The Gurkha and the mount of Dario Vargiu.Bred by Joe O Leary he actually got the better of Tempesti when they both made their debuts over 1600 metres at Merano.At two he was runner up in both the Vittorio Crespi and Rumon and opened his second season winning one of the principle Parioli trials the Premio Daumier before being second in the Premio Pisa. However such was the dominance of Il Grande Gatsby that Alduino Botti has stepped up Bahja Del Sol to 2100 metres.Age Of Ultron was a very easy winner last time out and merits respect but Tempesti to win.
On Monday at Florence the 195th running of the Corsa Dell’Arno (HPA 2200 metres).The Daddy of all Italian races a huge crowd will be at Visarno to see the sixteen strong field battle it out. Alduino Botti will be triple handed with top weight Clarenzio Fan the Frankel horse Vento Di Passioni and the War Command gelding Midnight Seaaon.The inform Devis Grilli has the Rabidus bloodstock bred Total Euphoria while EC racing run last years winner Deeper Dive, Domani Risplendi and Reggiolo who looks well in and has Dario Di Tocco on board.Two other light weights not to be ruled out are the Gasaprini/Turri teams Caterpillar and the Ballyreddin Stud bred Enger trained by Eugenio Goldin. Truly a race to look forward to.
As we go to post the meeting at San Siro on Saturday has been posponed due to a strike by unions involved in the sector being unable to negotiate with the racing companies such as SNAI tech who have not made themselves available. So the Premio Certosa will have to be run at a later date with little thought on both sides given to challengers from France and the Czech republic.
VIDEO 1: Tempesti wins the Brigadier Gerard
VIDEO 2: Wonka Willy wins the Premio San Giuseppe
VIDEO 3: Bahja Del Sol second in the Premio Pisa