Sound Of Freedom: Italian 1,000 Guineas is unbeaten in four startsPICTURE: Mordacchini
Graasten team hoping for big run in Derby
Preview: Italy, Sunday (4.55pm BST)
Capannelle: Derby Italiano 10Elotto (Group 2) 1m3f, turf, 3yo
COLOGNE-based trainer Peter Schiergen bids to muscle in on Stefano Botti’s domination of the Italian racing scene when he saddles Graasten against 14 rivals in the €715,000 Derby Italiano at the Capannelle.
Schiergen is selective with his raids to Italy but it was where his subsequent Arc and King George winner Danedream cut her big-race teeth, recording a victory in the 2011 Oaks d’Italia.
While Graasten is unlikely to reach the heights of that illustrious mare, he is a strapping colt and essentially an out-and-out galloper.
He is expected to relish the step up in trip in today’s Group 2, especially on a track which will help him make the most of his long, raking stride.
Schiergen said: “I don’t know enough about the Italian horses to make any judgement, but mine’s a very nice type who has come on a lot since winning a small race at Krefeld three weeks ago. His half-sister Goose Bay won the Italian Oaks and his half-brother Girolamo ran a good race at Cologne last week, so he has the right pedigree and I expect him to run a big race.”
Germany is also represented by Summer Paradise, who won a maiden in a canter at Frankfurt a fortnight ago.
Champion trainer Botti saddles six of the 15 runners as he tries to capture the prize for a third successive year.
His team includes Goldstream, unbeaten in four starts including last time out in the Premio Botticelli, a traditional trial for this event, and Sound Of Freedom, also unbeaten in four starts, most recently winning the Premio Regina Elena (Italian 1,000 Guineas). She is bidding to become the first filly to win this in 80 years and is certainly bred to come into her own over this longer trip.
Also on Sunday
Capannelle: Premio Carlo d'Alessio (Group 3) (2.30pm BST) 1m4f, turf, 4yo+
Dylan Mouth (Stefano Botti/Fabio Branca) won last year’s Derby Italiano and met the only defeat of an eight-race career in the King Edward VII Stakes at Royal Ascot, contests the Group 3 Premio Carlo d’Alessio.
He will be odds-on to make a winning return against seven rivals in the €61,600 event, with Group 1 prizes at home on his agenda before he is asked to step up to the plate in either France or Britain later in the season.
Capannelle: Premio Tudini (Group 3) (3.45pm BST) 6f, turf, 3yo+
Omaticaya (Vincenzo Fazio/Gianpasquale Fois) is a likely favourite for an open-looking 11-runner sprint, despite having proved less than reliable on occasions in the past.
She found her best form last time out and passed the post in pole position, immediately ahead of Harlem Shake (Marco Gasparini/Luca Maniezzi), Traditional Chic (Grizzetti-Riccardi/Fabio Branca) and Terre Brune (Roberto Brogi/Paolo Aragoni), and a repeat performance would be good enough to land the lion's share of this €61,600 prize.