Philip dents reputations with Gran Criterium win
Report: Italy, Sunday
San Siro: Gran Criterium (Group 1) 7½f, turf, 2yo colts and fillies
PRIORE PHILIP (Stefano Botti/Umberto Rispoli) ran out a decisive three-length winner from Grey Greezly in this Group 1, denting the lofty reputations of hitherto unbeaten pair Arpinati and Fanoulpifer who could finish only third and fourth respectively.
In the process, Priore Philip was providing the perfect farewell to jockey Umberto Rispoli, who departs the European scene for the time being to start a three-week riding stint in Japan on Wednesday before spending the rest of the year riding in Hong Kong.
There had been plenty of speculation before the race as to the ability of Arpinati and Fanoulpifer to handle the heavy ground and neither was able to summon up their turn of foot which had been evident in faster conditions earlier in the campaign.
The race was run at a very good gallop thanks to the efforts of Swiss challenger Filou and the intended pacemaker Sentimentodarcadia who pressed him throughout.
The winner was always travelling well enough towards the back of the field and was the last to play his hand, switching to the outside in sixth position over 300 yards out and producing a sustained run to lead entering the final furlong. From there it was no contest and he was soon clear, covering the last half furlong with his jockey sitting stock still.
An archetypal rags to riches tale, Priore Philip has now won the last six of his seven career starts, his initial success having been achieved in a claimer on this course back in June.
The immediate reaction of connections is to put the colt away ready for the Classics next spring.
Also on Sunday
San Siro: Premio Verziere (Group 3) 1m2f, turf, 3yo+ fillies and mares
QUADUNA (Andreas Wohler/Fabio Branca) made the most of an enterprising ride by Fabio Branca to hold off odds-on favourite La Banderilla by a short neck.
The German-trained winner had been very keen in the early stages and rather than continue to fight his mount, Branca let Quaduna stride on and take the lead after about 300 yards.
She made all from there on and Branca quickened the tempo with a quarter-mile to run to steal a march on the favourite. La Banderilla was closing all the way to the line but was never quite able to get to grips with the winner.