Saturdays Premio Citta Di Follonica(HPB 1650M) saw the dramatic return to form of Sardinia’s star filly Sa Filonzana(El Kabeir – Solar Fire). Trained by Antonio Cottu and bred by Natalie Cleary, Sa Filonzana ran up a four timer as a juvenile culminating in the Repubbliche Marinare (LR 1500M) when she became the first Sardinian trained horse to win a group or listed race on the Italian mainland. The owner Giuseppe Ortu and Cottu agreed to send the filly to Simone Brogi in France for her second season but a mixture of soft ground and races over 2000 metres saw her disappoint. She returned to Cottu and the Mediterranean but her first run back on the island saw little improvment finishing fifth of six at Sassari again over 2000 metres. Cottu perhaps remembering her scintillating display on the Tagliacozzu sand in the Criterium Femminile and now with a big drop in the weights decided to challenge for Follonica’s biggest prize over the shorter trip. The Gavino Sanna ridden filly in truth could have easily doubled the three and a half lengths that seperated her from the runner up Team Botti’s Lamialady followed by Dangerous Subject with the Paul Hancock bred top weight Vendicari fourth. The mile is clearly Sa Filonzana’s trip and perhaps the Ippolito Fassati(LR) at San Siro on September 11 could be her next target.
At Naples on Friday evening Alfie Solomons trained by Salvatore Bellassai ridden by Carlo Fiocchi and bred by the Rathbarry stud was an impressive winner of the valuable Premio Vittorio Chianese over the minimum trip.The Acclamation gelding was winning for the sixth time,one and three quarter lengths clear of bottom weight Limaro Prospect bred by Gay O Callaghan with The Conqueror’s half sister Windy Dancer third and Winterfeel fourth. Alfie Solomons was winning for the fourth time in just over nine months, the other three all at Siracusa where he is trained.
Roberto Di Giacinto is having a fine season and his Camacho second season filly Fornarinah won for the fifth time in 2022 at Corridonia on Thursday evening. Bred by Perle O Rourke the daughter of the See You Think mare Think Fashion has now won seven times at five different tracks in a short career.
Although Bruno Grizzetti is enjoying an excellent year his biggest owner Leonardo Ciampoli is having a lean time by his standards. However Sopran Belgrado was a tremendous winner of the Premio Citta Di Merano (HPC 1600M)on Sunday easily getting the better of Love Shots and Tockins. Grizzetti’s colt by Starspangledbanner out of the Montjeu mare Late Day Sun was completing a double is clearly improving rapidly. Bred by the Clarecastle Stud the dam was a winner for Dermot Weld on the Curragh over ten furlongs.
The other Handicap Principale on the card the Premio SGA(2200M) was won by the German challenger Walkin On The Sun a horse who hardly ever runs in her homeland with all of her three wins being at either Merano or Milan. She came with an excellent burst of speed to win comfortably from the tenderly ridden Arkadius with Renegade third.
Also at the Tyrolian venue was the three year old hurdle the Premio Luca Bruschi where the Scuderia Aichner’s Costa Rica was a good winner from Raffaele Romano’s More Than a Habit with the Czech challenger Chittusi third. The Aichner team paid €31,000 for the Morandi gelding after winning at Chateaubriand and here he led the field a merry dance from the off and will surely be one of the favourites for the three year old championship race the Grand Criterium D’Autunno(G1) at the end of September.It will be interesting to see the Aichner/Vana junior runners for the principle trial the Group 3 Ettore Tagliabue on September 4.
At Deauville on Saturday Maurizio Guarnieri and Cristian Demuro had a tremendous win in the G2 Prix Du Calvados over 1400 metres with the Profitable filly Wed who easily got the better of Sparkling Beauty and Aidan O Briens Never Ending Story.She will now probably challenge for the Marcel Boussac(G1) on Arc day. Guarnieri is enjoying an excellent season in France with winnings just shy of € 600,000 including premiums but still behind his compatriots Alessandro Botti € 1.105 million,Gianluca Bietolini €705,622 and Simone Brogi €614,903.Christian Demuro meanwhile is fourth in the jockeys championship with 94 winners.
The week ahead is a relatively quiet one the week before both Capannelle and San Siro reopen for their Autumn campaigns.
Thursday : Corridonia
Friday : Follonica and Naples
Saturday : Chilivani and Varese which will feature the 71st Gran Premio Citta Di Varese(HPA 2250M)
Sunday : Livorno and Merano featuring the G3 novice chase the Premio Piero e Franco Richard over 3800 metres.
Regarding the two big flat tracks Rome returns with an eight race card on September 4 while San Siro has a seven race card on September 7. We have had a few requests for advance notice on meetings so here are the other meetings up to September 8
Aug 31 : Varese
Sept 1 : Corridonia
Sept 2 : Naples
Sept 3 : Florence and Siracusa (both also beginning their autumn campaigns)
Sept 4 : Merano and Rome
Sept 6 : Rome
Sept 7 : Tagliacozzu and Milan
Sept 8 : Chilivani, Corridonia and Florence.
Finally there is a real battle for the 2022 “Frustino D’Oro” the jockeys championship. Dario Di Tocco leads on 86 ahead of Dario Vargiu who is trying to win for the sixth time on the trot with 79, Salvatore Sulas has 65,Carlo Fiocchi 57,Salvatore Basile 52 and Germano Marcelli 51.
VIDEO: Merano’s meeting 21/8