We enjoyed a wonderful weekend racing in Italy and around the World this weekend.The Italian connection prominent in Dubai,Naas,Doncaster,Dusseldorf(Michael Cadeddu winner) and Santa Anita(Umberto Rispoli double) but more of those later.We had thirty races in Milan,Rome and Siracusa at the weekend with an incredible nineteen Irish breds winning.At San Siro on Saturday all six winners were bred in Ireland which shows the huge importance of the Italian market for Ireland.You can see the details in our section on Irish Bred winners.
Without doubt the highlight of the Italian weekend was the Premio Torricola for three year old fillies over a mile on Sunday.The Terricola is a traditional trial for the Regina Elena.The champion two year old filly Telepatic Glances winner of Europes richest race for two year old fillies last year the Premio Dormello was giving eight pounds to her rivals but cruised to a three and a quarter length win over Windy Dancer and Rainbow Bright.The Endo Botti/Cristina Brivio trained daugther of Pride of Dubai-Caveran could well go for the Poule Dessai des Pouliches in Longchamp rather than the home race.Next Sundays trial in Milan the Premio Seregno will decide Botti’s plans.
The colts race the Premio Daumier was exciting but perhaps less informative.Alduino Botti’s Closer Look a son of War Command got the better of Terrible Land by half a length reversing the form of the Premio Arconte earlier in the month at Pisa.One and a half lengths further back was the Sean O Sullivan bred Please Exceed(Outstrip-Menesteem).The Premi Gardone and Pisa over the next ten days will hopefully clarify the Parioli picture.
The older Mile fillies ran in the Premio Azzurrina with the dual listed winner Chiaro Di Luna getting the better of Ravens Rosa and Haven Park.The latter (Sir Prancealot-Fifth Wonder) bred by Ashling Burke in Wicklow looks to be one of those seven furlong horses just not able to see out the mile.Perhaps faster gound later on might suit.
Speaking of seven furlong horses also in Capannelle the Ged O Leary bred Porto Blanco(Excellent Art-Avaselle) won his eighteenth race. Thirteen of Porto Blanco’s wins have been over 1400 or 1500 metres. O Leary a brother of Ryanair Boss Michael runs an animal food business in Clonmellon Co.Westmeath.
In San Siro on Sunday a most enjoyable mixed card was on offer.Elisa Again now a five year old mare made her seasonal bow in the Premio Germignaga over nine furlongs and was a comfortable winner.The 107 rated Roberto Biondi trained mare already the winner of the Premio Verzieri(G3) will have been kept in training to win perhaps the 300,000 euro Premio Lydia Tesio(g2).Biondi completed an unusual double when his Kaiser Soze won the hurdle race the Premio Brivio on the same card.The listed Premio Giulio Caccia a trial for the Gran Siepi di Milano(g1) in late April was won by the Czech invader Ivo who got the better of Raffaele Romano’s Irish bred Live your life.Irish breds are enjoying wonderful success on the flat(Piano) in Italy but a lot of work needs to be done on the Ostacoli (NH) front.
Mountarmstrong Stud in Tipperary have bred a potentially high class sprinter in Damble(Gutaifan-Dylan Alexander)The Nicolo Simondi trained colt lost his maiden status on his third attempt over five furlongs but looks one to keep an eye on.
Irish breeders can take a bow after events in San Siro on Saturday six races all won by horses carrying the IRE label.If ever the powers that be want to understand the importance of the Italian market for Ireland this was it .People can rattle on about racing in New Zealand,Australia ,South Africa etc but what matters to most Irish breeders is a market within the European Union where their horses can be sold.Appropriately the Aidan Sexton bred Sopran Basilea was arguably the most impressive winner of the day.Sexton who has bred well over 120 winners in Italy knows his market and in trainer Bruno Grizzetti and owner Leonardo Ciampoli are two of the biggest supporters of Irish breeding.The Filly a daugther of Night of Thunder and Kathy Best was a comfortable winner from a bunch of well bred opponents.On her only previous start she was a fast finishing second to Cima Star(Sea The Stars-Snowfield)a 150,000 guineas yearling also with Grizzetti..On this occasion she seemed to appreciate the extra furlong.
Sextons truly remarkable Change of Moon claimed his twenty sixth win in Capannelle on Friday, the Premio Trattato Di Roma celebrating the sixtieth anniversary of the treaty of Rome.If the Le Cadre Noir gelding keeps winning someone somewhere will have to name a race after him.(Have a look at the race in our results section he just loves the All Weather, race 5 Roma 26 Marzo)
The highest quality races on Friday were both sprints Royal Mehmas(Mehmas-Royal Majestic)surprising Raifan in the five furlong Torre Astura.The winner was bred by Father and Son Paul and Billy Mcenery in the Vinesgrove stud Kilkenny and has now won three of his six starts and is clearly improving.Raifan one of last years top two year olds bred by Kildaragh missed the break and was a little unlucky in running but take no credit from the winner.
The Premio Gyr for older sprinters also over five was won by the Cooneen stud bred filly Miss Rouge by Dream Ahead-Playful)This was the Gerry and Maura O Sullivan bred’s sixth win ridden here by Gabriele Cannarella a young Sicilian Jockey going places.
And in Sicily on Saturday in Siracusa Orange Suit bred by Barronstown stud had his sixth win.
The Son of Declaration of War-Guantanamera is a half brother to the 2015 St Leger winner Simple Verse and Even Song who won the Ribblesdale.
The six furlong sprint on the Siracusa card was won by the Antonino Cannella trained Nejba(Dragon Pulse-Webcast) and bred by Margaret Sinanan a lady with connections to Dublin Zoo.
Away from the Peninsula Italian influence was everywhere.Antonio Fresu winning the 1.5 million dollar Golden Sheneen Stakes (g1)in Dubai on Zenden only for the horse to fall after the winning line.For a moment Fresu looked in real trouble with the rest of the field threatenting to trample him.Luckily the twenty nine year old Italian jockey escaped unlike the horse who sadly had to be euthanized.In Doncaster Artistic Rifles won the class 2 Spring handicap over a mile.The Zaro srl owned gelding was with the aforementioned Roberto Biondi last year and in a largely uninspiring year won a nine furlong race in Milan.
Willy Mccreery enjoyed winning the Park Express Stakes (g3)at Naas with the Renzo Forni owned and bred Epona Plays.This was the fillies second pattern success and she is a half sister to Dolce Strega who won the Athasi(g3)Maybe Mccreery and Forni will send the filly for a big money pot like the Lydia Tesio on the owners home soil.Mccreery’s best filly Fiesolana by Aussie Rules won the group 1 Matron stakes but started out with Fabio Boccardelli near Rome.She won her maiden in Napoli on her fourth start.