What a weekend we have had with two Guineas trials, two Derby trials an Oaks trial, two handicap principales and a high class sprint conditions race all to mull over. If there weren’t the glut of Irish bred winners that we had last week There Were still quite a few to enjoy(have a look at The Irish bred winners section).
Classic trials are supposed to show us all who are the candidates for the big race and give us an idea of the quality of the current generation. We have two completely different worlds as we head to April 26 and the Regina Elena and Parioli. The Fillies trials have been high class and we have had at least five impressive winners heading to Capannelle in what clearly is the best generation for quite some time.
On the other hand the colts trials have all been inconclusive and the trend continued in the Gardone on Sunday. But Ladies first and the return of Aria Importante in the Premio Seregno(LR) in San Siro. The Daughter of Twilight Son-Aria Di Festa now with Alduino Botti was the star of last summer winning her first four races including the Primi Passi in most impressive fashion.All of the races in San Siro over five and later six furlongs on fast ground and she even blitzed the very fast Wakanaka on two occasions.But when moved up to 1500 metres(7.5f)in the Gran Criterium on heavy ground although second to Vis a Vis the dazzling form was gone. The critics were out Aria Importante is a sprinter nothing more.Then with Bruno Grizzetti’s dispute with the SNAI run Milan racecourse she was moved to the Botti empire by her owners Isabella and Guido Bezzera. The Seregno is traditionally the most important Regina Elena trial and Aria was opposed by a high quality field including Havana Love second in the Dormello,a French raider Ursuly a winner in Deauville and Vichy trained by Jerome Reynier,and Cima Star the 150,000 guineas Sea the Stars filly some hoped would give Grizzetti revenge. The Aidan Sexton bred Ginger Beer tried to test Aria’s stamina with a good pace but Claudio Colombi was having no doubts and hit the front two furlongs out to win comfortable from Ursuly and a fast finishing Havana Love.The Regina Elena is going to be some race and no doubt if she runs Telepatic Glances will be favourite and possible Wakanaka next in the betting but if Rome enjoys one of those wonderful springs and the ground is fast don’t rule out a filly with an Air of Importance about her.
On the Parioli front everything is so different. Close finishes, tactical races, form being reversed, its a cloud that everybody expected to be cleared by the return of champion two year old Vis a Vis. Nothing of the sort happened as Fabio Branca gave a masterclass in leading from the front on the Irish National stud bred Bjorn(Acclamation-Apace(Oasis Dream) a horse who didn’t seem to stay in his two most recent efforts. Branca led from the start and the others seemed happy to go along including Fayathaan an expensive Mehmas import who the slow early pace would also suit. Inexplicably Dario Vargiu and Sergio Urru on Vis a Vis and Mordimi the two favourites played along and both failed in the final furlong to land a blow on Bjorn who won in a time 2.2 seconds slower than the fillies equivalent. Although Vis a Vis will improve and wasn’t suited by the slow pace there are now more questions than answers. We can only hope that the biggest trial the Premio Pisa in Florence on Thursday and the Premio Doria in Rome on Sunday sheds a little light.
The Premio Guido Clerici was similar but opposite in that Dario Vargiu on Bell’Imbusto led from the start but at a fast pace over the Milan ten furlongs. Branca on Sopran Poseidone came to challenge two furlongs out but never got there and the fast finishing duo Mooney Love and Atzeco got nearest at the finish to the Helmet colt. Bell’Imbusto did all that was asked but one can’t help feeling that the second the beautifully bred Mooney Love(Australia-Mooney Ridge)and quite possibly the third Atzeco could be very dangerous come late May.Sopran Poseidone as we suspected was carrying a few extra kilos and will improve from the run.We can expect to see all of these again in the Boticelli on guineas day or in the Filiberto a week later.
Today In Rome another Derby trial, the Premio San Giuseppe over 2100 metres(10.5f)saw the Frankel colt Vento Di Passione make it two from two in quite impressive fashion with Tiaspettofuori second with Bulldozer third. This is a promising horse but is it asking too much for such an inexperienced colt to be a serious candidate, only time will tell. The Premio Lorenzo Camuffo is the first serious test for the Oaks fillies (June 6).The Dario Vargiu ridden Eulaila as the Italians say won coast to coast(start to finish)with the Perle O Rourke bred Tigre Bianca coming closest. Big disappointment was Queen Met who never looked in the hunt. The winner an Arcano filly who won her only start over nine furlongs at two will be an interesting runner in one of the trials ahead.
Today at the Ippodromo Mediterraneo Siracusa in Sicily we had two terrific Handicap Principale’s ,one over 2100m was won by a very impressive Big Rope an American bred son of Verrazano a dual group one winner in the states who got injured after finishing second in the Queen Anne Stakes when with Aidan O Brien. Big Rope was ridden beautifully by the man of the moment the Sicilian Gabriele Cannarella who is riding winners all over Italy. The Premio Sicilia for three year olds over a mile was won by Charlie’s Jamboree trained by Valentino Ficara ridden by Federico Bossa and bred by WT Whittle giving his sire Twilight Son a great weekend.
On Saturday in Milan, Agiato had his second run of the season as Grizzetti beleive’s he has a horse to challenge The Conqueror for champion sprinter. Fabio Branca enjoyed a comfortable win on the Bated Breath gelding. On a weekend when Umberto Rispoli rode his 1700th winner and a grade 1 in Santa Anita, Mirco Demuro his 1100th winner in Japan alone and his brother Christian the first pattern race of the French season, another Sardinian Silvano Mulas rode a treble on Saturday in Milan and another on Sunday and we leave you with a video of Mulas most famous win in 2010 which shows us how these Italians dominate the ranks of the Worlds best jockeys.