- The stars of the show on a busy weekend will be the steeplechasers in Milan as the spring jump scene comes to a conclusion in San Siro.On May 16 The summer season will begin in Merano Italy’s version of Punchestown in the beautiful South Tirol region.Flat Racing fans will be well catered for with meetings on Saturday in Siracusa,Florence and Milan and on Sunday in Rome where the highlights will be the Premio Tadolina(LR)for four year and up fillies and an excellent mile and a half handicap for three year olds the Premio Agriformi.
But its in San Siro we begin with some excellent news.The wonderful track celebrated its centenary last year and today Snaitech the racecourse owners announced a multi million Euro project(Around 12 million) which will make San Siro the only equestrian centre in Europe to offer Flat,Jumps,Trotting and Show Jumping.An all weather track will be completed by the end of 2022 under lights which will allow the track to stage racing three days a week all year round and at night .(A full article will follow)
The Grande Steeple Chase Di Milano(Group1)3.30pm over three miles one furlong(5000metres)will be a unique renewal only six months after the 2020 version(date affected by Covid)when Northerly Wind (photograph above) will be favourite to defend his title against the grand old veteran Notti Magiche. Northerly Wind like so many of the leading jumpers in Europe is French bred(Saint de Saints-Las Ventas) and one of the finest chasers on the continent.Trained in the Czech Republic by Pavel Tuma and ridden by Jan Faltejsek the nine year old will not only be favourite to win on Sunday but will be a prime candidate for the Gran Premio Di Merano(Italian Gold Cup) in September.Notti Magiche now eleven and the winner of almost 300,000 euro has five lengths to make up on last November but has the advantage of a run in the Giulio Caccia(LR) over two miles when third to Ivo.An interesting runner is Josef Vana Senior’s Lodgian Whistle a winner in Bratislava followed by a good run in the Velka Pardubicka for many the Worlds toughest steeplechase.Shent is another Bratislava winner who was however disappointing in Merano last year while Haad Rin a high class hurdler may not have the experience for this.Northerly Wind despite the long break to confirm the placings with Notti Magiche.
The Premio Staffe D’Oro 2.15pm(Group 3 two miles,3,600m) is for four year old chasers and promises to be a tremendous race.Favourite will be Honey Sexy again from Pavel Tuma.The French bred mare has already won the group 3 Neni Di Zara at Pisa over 3,500 metres(1 mile seven and a half furlongs)where she had Raffaele Romano’s Salcret back in fourth.The Brescia trainer’s horse has since won in Treviso and was a very good second in the Spegasso over course and distance.Third in that race was Josef Vana seniors Tancarville and fourth Knapsack(Nathaniel-Packed House bred by Knocktartan House Stud Wexford).Paolo Favero’s representative a hurdle winner in Treviso and Pisa was making his chasing debut. Honey Sexy to just get the better of Salcret and Knapsack.
In Rome the Premio Tadolina(LR)2.20 pm 38,500 euro is an interesting race in which the Ashling Burke bred Agostino Affe trained Havens Park will once again try to obtain a victory at this level over a mile.The daughter of Sir Prancealot will meet old rivals Ravens Rosa(Alduino Botti)and Chiaro Di Luna(Luigi Di Dio).Throw in last years Regina Elena winner Granatina(Luciano Bietolini)and Oaks fifth Rose Secret and we have an absorbing contest.As I write this on Friday the going is soft in Rome so I take Ravens Rosa to just get the better of Haven Park and Chiaro Di Luna. The Premio Agriformi 3pm for three year olds over a mile and a half is a Handicap Principale B.It is a very competitive affair in which the Michael Phelan bred Bridge Dress Me disappointing in the Botticelli moves down in class but up in distance.Another well beaten in a derby trial was the Norristown Stud(Wexford) bred New Bay colt Le Seineur de Fer sixth in the Guido Clerici.The key race for this is probably the Premio Svelt over course and distance where Frenkbit easily got the better of Crebillon, Boboalena and Angel Of The World but Luciano Bietolini’s colt has been hammered in the weights. At the weights I pick Crebillon to get the better of Le Seigneur de Fer and Frenkbit.
The two year old scene up to now has been almost totally dominated by the Rome based Sicilian trainer Sebastiano Guerrieri who has produced some very fast animals.The Premio Red Arrow 12.35pm opens the Rome card on Sunday and the Sicilian runs Flying Horse who if he is well named will win.Don Chicco a son of El Kabeir was second to the fastest of Guerrieri’s so far Windstormblack 56.2 seconds last weekend on soft ground will probably be favourite but keep an eye on the Aidan Sexton bred Cin Cia Cia fourth in Milan on his debut.
Speaking of fast horses The Conqueror’s half sister Windy Dancer runs in the Premio BBAG over seven furlongs in Milan on Saturday 3.30pm where she will be opposed by Bruno Grizzetti’s Mehmas filly Virgin Isla and Endo Botti’s Desert Prince Deadline. Second to Telepatic Glances in the Torricola Windy Dancer to win.
Remember all races streamed live on the site. Saturday first race San Siro 12.55,Siracusa 1.30 and Florence(Firenze)2pm Sunday Capannelle 12.35 and San Siro 12.55 All Times Irish.
Racing next week: Tuesday Rome : Wednesday Follonica and Milan Thursday Florence, Friday :Chilivani and Rome, Saturday: Milan and Siracusa, Sunday: Merano,Milan and Rome.