The Ippodromo Dei Pini in Follonica stages its biggest meeting of the year on Saturday featuring the Premio Citta Di Follonica(HPB, 3, 1650m) on the sand with the off at 18.45 local time. After the closure of the Grosetto track, Follonica has taken up the mantle for “Galoppo” in this part of Tuscany and has grown steadily.
Saturday evening’s feature will have the Paul Hancock bred Vendicari as top weight but in optimal form after recent wins at Rome and Naples over the mile.
The Paul Monaghan bred Markaz colt, Lord Grey has developed into a high class handicapper who followed up two spectacular wins with an excellent fourth in the Coppa Del Mare(HPB 2250m) at Livorno where the distance proved a problem but is this trip on the sharp side for the three year old who has shown his best form at 1900 metres?
Sa Filonzana bred by Natalie Cleary in Wexford made history last season becoming the first Sardinian trained horse to win a listed on the mainland in the Repubbliche Marinare at Capannelle but the El Kabeir filly has shown nothing of that form in 2022.
The Camelot colt Ector De Maris looked to have real promise at Pisa in March when winning over 2000 metres but since then the Yeomanstown bred has been a little disappointing.
Dangerous Subject a winner at Naples and Tagliacozzu has a big chance as has Alduino Botti’s Arcano filly Beautiful Cindy a winner over the course and distance last time out. With only 57 kilos she might be the answer in a very competitive race.
At Varese also on Saturday the Premio Ferrario over 1600 metres is an interesting contest at 20.15. Moorland Spirit bred by RG and TE Levin will carry top weight but the Albert Dock filly Amola a winner at San Siro and last time out over the course and distance along with Marco Gasparini’s Lucirex both might make the concession of 7.5 and 2 kilos too much for Nicola Pinna’s mount. Maria Moneta’s filly is also declared for the Citta Di Merano on Sunday.
Naples on Friday evening features the valuable sprint the Premio Vittorio Chianese over the minimum trip.Two progeny of the Rathasker Stud will be serious protagonists in the contest. Chica Mala(Es Que Love) has won and been placed on her last three runs here while Balthassar(Gregorian) was runner up at Agnano on his last run. However I take two other Irish breds to deny the pair in Alfie Solomons (Rathbarry Stud) and Winterfeel (Coisdeel Bloodstock) with a slight preference for the latter who has the bang in form Dario Di Tocco in the saddle.
Incidentally as we speak Di Tocco leads the jockeys championship with 84 winners six ahead of defending champion Dario Vargiu with Tore Sulas on 64.
Sunday at Merano is primarily for the three year olds both on the flat and over hurdles.We can enjoy two handicap principales for the second season performers over 1600 and 2200 metres and the build up to to the G1 Gran Criterium D’Autunno continues for the juvenile hurdlers with the Premio Luca Bruschi over 3000 metres.
The Premio Citta Di Merano(HPC 1600M) is almost a benefit for Irish bred horses with all but one runner carrying IRE after its name.The top weight Arc On Fire had at one time Derby pretensions but his last run when sixth in the Filiberto put paid to that. This step back in trip may be more of a sharpening up exercise even though Dario Vargiu is in the saddle. Love Shots also from the Botti team with Tore Sulas in the saddle makes more appeal with six kilos less. Sandro Garavelli in Westmeath bred the Cotai Glory filly who was running on fourth behind the easy winner Sopran Belgrado over course and distance last time out. Now seven kilos better off she has to have a big chance to reverse placings with the Clarecastle stud bred son of Starspangledbanner. The Galmarini/Turri team will have every chance with Zittella(Raven’s Pass) once a Regina Elena hope. Only a neck behind the top class Amalaura in one of the principle trials in March she can defy the five month lay off here. Amola is as we said declared at Varese on Saturday but also here so if she runs she has to be respected.
Arkadius like Amola is by Albert Dock and with only 54 kgs and Dario Vargiu in the saddle might reverse San Siro May form with Sopran Pechino(Galileo Gold Tally Ho) on seven and a half kilos better terms in the Premio SGA (HPC 2200M).
Watch My Tail was a decent juvenile winning at San Siro over 1800 metres for Gianluca Vericelli, top weight Renegade got the better of Zupel over 2000 metres at Naples last time out, both will be thereabouts.
German raider Walkin’ On The Sun was a winner over course and distance on his last run with the Gasparini/Turri Xenobio a fast finishing third. Xenobio is now 5 kgs better off and is the choice to give the pair yet another big handicap win.
The Premio Luca Bruschi for juvenile hurdlers is very difficult to call. The Czech challenger Chittusi won in Warsaw last time out while Costa Rica won in Clairefontaine on his last start.Raffaele Romano might provide the winner here with More Than A Habit a comfortable winner over course and distance on his second start over obstacles. Paolo Favero is represented here by Amouge making his debut over jumps. The Churchill gelding was bred at Louis Kennedy’s Mountain View Stud.
Finally on Sunday the Razza Del Velino bred Island Of Love whom we rated the fifth best juvenile filly in Italy last year is running in Sunday’s Del Mar Oaks (G1) over 1800 metres.The Kodiac filly has already won the Senorita Stakes(G3) over 1600 metres at Santa Anita.
VIDEO: Island Of Love wins the 2021 Premio Eupili at San Siro.The Razza Del Velino bred filly runs in Sundays G1 Del Mar Oaks(G1)