Before we look at this weekends racing it is noteworthy that Italian buyers were active at Goffs Uk sales this week.
Horses with Italian black type in the family were among the top prices.The Acclamation colt out of Melania Cascione’s Repubbliche Marinare winner Isole Canarie made £200,000 while the Havana Grey out of Agostino Affe’s Vittorio Crespi winner Avengers Queen sold for 230,000.
Cascione’s partner Sebastiano Guerrieri is certainly eager to build on recent success and he bought ten yearlings for £251,000 including a Havana Grey filly for £42,000.Team Botti’s Razza Del Velino were also there buying a Showcasing filly out of the Fred Darling(G3) winner Maureen for £37,000 and a Nathaniel colt for £35,000.Other Italian buyers included Valfredo Valiani and Antonio Carraciolo and in total they spent just shy of €500,000.
Follonica on Friday evening features the valuable Premio Tosco Vans over 1650 metres.A very competitive affair in which a case can be made for most of the thirteen strong field. Proiettile a Sir Prancealot four year old bred by P&J O Rourke a course and distance winner last time out and with the assistance of Tore Sulas has a decent chance as does the Aidan Sexton bred son of Power, Mesocco runner up here last time out over 1200 metres a trip short of his best.Taki Taki a winner at Tagliacozzo and Livorno this year bred by the Springwell stud and the Turri/Galmarini teams Clodovil gelding Passerotto are two others to keep an eye on as are Neverendinglove,Watch Tomorrow and the light weight Wendy Rhodes.
The best flat race of the weekend is the 71st Premio Citta di Varese (HPA) over 2250 metres with the off just half an hour before midnight.Caterpillar got the better of super consistent Midnght Season in Livorno’s Coppa del Mare(HPB) over the same distance.The filly is now five kilos better off for three and a half lengths difference which should enable her to get revenge. However this is a hugely competitive race where Desire to Fire now on a hat trick after excellent wins here over 2300 metres and his victim in both the Robert Berns bred Capotempesta now two kilos better off will have chances.
All of this without mentioning leading local trainer Bruno Grizzetti who runs no less than three candidates with the Brickfield stud bred Sopran Kalypso being Antonio Fresu’s choice,Lagomago bred by Littlejon stud Mullingar, ridden by the on fire Dario di Tocco and light weight Siang with Gabriele Malune in the saddle.
The Con Marnane bred Ragout represents Federica Tomasini with Sara Del Fabbro on board and the Dawn Approach colt earned his place here with a good win over 2100 metres a week ago.
Very tough race to call but Midnight Season might finally get rewarded for her consistency.
Merano on Sunday stages the best novice chase of the season so far the G3 Premio Piero y Franco Richard over 3800 metres.The Czech challenger Roncal a top class novice hurdler has taken brilliantly to chasing winning the G2 Premio Ezio Vanoni last time out over the course and distance and is the obvious choice but he faces two horses of huge potential.
Zio Reginaldo a son of War Command bred by Joe Bishop made a spectacular chasing debut in the Premio Vincenzo Pollio also over the course and distance when proving much too good for the Polish horse Ocean Life with Lucechericama a distance back third.The latter was the same distance behind Roncal in the Ezio Vanoni. The unknown quantity in the field is the Aichner/Vana junior teams apparent second string as Pavel Slozil rides Zio Reginaldo. Gracieux Du Logis a son of the German champion miler Alianthus who has won his two starts over the larger obstacles firstly at Dieppe and then in a €52,000 chase at Auteuil.
A race not to be missed which will have huge significance for the Steeple Chases D’Itali(G2) in September.