James Reveley: has built up a good relationship with Guillaume MacairePICTURE: Martin Lynch
Reveley lands second win Gran Premio Merano
Report: Italy, Sunday
Merano: LXXII Gran Premio Merano Forst (Group 1 Chase) 3m1f, turf, 4yo+
JAMES REVELEY made the most of his French connection to make it back-to-back wins in Italy's most prestigious steeplechase, the celebrated Gran Premio Merano, on Chercheur D'Or (Guillaume Macaire).
Reveley had also landed this €380,000 contest for the same trainer, who he has spent time riding for over the past four years, on Rigoureux last year.
Sunday's victory was achieved around a twisting figure-of-eight circuit and over 24 fences, and Reveley was happy to ride a patient race for the first half of the contest before gradually moving up to join the leaders approaching the sixth-last fence out.
The pair went for home with three to jump and from there on, the seven-year-old was always travelling too strongly for his rivals.
Chercheur D'Or had five lengths to spare over the Philip Carberry-ridden Zarkali, trained by Italy's top jumping handler Paolo Favero, with Czech Republic-trained Budapest two lengths away third.
In all, ten of the 15 runners completed the course, with former Cheltenham Festival winner Character Building coming home ninth.
Reveley was winning for the third time in five attempts on Chercheur D'Or, who has won 11 of his 24 starts over hurdles and fences, as well as being regularly in the money when tackling the top races at Auteuil.
Also on Sunday
Capanelle: Premio Rumon (Listed) 7½f, turf, 2yo
Lui E La Luna (Bruno Grizzetti/Dario Vargiu) blew away his rivals in this €61,600 stepping stone to the Group 1 Gran Criterium and will take his place in that San Siro showpiece on October 9.
The son of Nayef had won his two previous starts, both at San Siro, in promising fashion but this represented a step up in class with Strategic Game a tough opponent after four wins in five outings.
Strategic Game ensured this was a good test, making the running tracked by the eventual winner. Lui E La Luna was caught flat-footed when the pace was upped about two-and-a-half furlongs out, but soon responded to pressure and swept by the leader approaching the final furlong to win going away.
Lui E La Luna came home five lengths clear of Hachico, winner of a newcomers event, who pipped Strategic Game by a nose for second.