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Discover Italian Racing
Not many people outside of Italy associate the country with horse racing, but it is well-established there and there are six Group 1 fixtures that are held each year.
The Premio Presidente della Repubblica takes place at Capannelle Racecourse, in the month of May. Horses must be at least 4 years of age and they race over a distance of 1.25 miles. There is a purse over over €200,000 on offer. The race was inaugurated in the late 1870s. Back then, 3-year-olds were also able to take part and the race distance was over 2 miles. Silvio Parravani is the most successful jockey in this race. He scored 5 victories, between 1949 and 1959.
The Gran Premio di Milano
The Gran Premio di Milano was first established in 1889 and is run at the San Siro racecourse in Milan. The runners travel 1.5 miles, for a purse of almost €300,000. The event is for 3-year-olds and up and this fixture is held in June. No horse, trainer, owner or jockey has won this race on more than two occasions.
The Premio Vittorio di Capua is also held at San Siro Racecourse. Race conditions are similar to the Gran Premio di Milano, although the race is over the shorter distance of a mile and the purse is significantly smaller.
The Great Ramonti
Ramonti was the winner of this encounter back in 2006. Out of a dam called Fosca and sired by Martino Alonso, this French bay stallion won almost £2,000,000 in prize money. Major victories included the Hong Kong Cup, the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes, the Sussex Stakes and the Queen Anne Stakes.
The Grand Premio del Jockey Club is another San Siro fixture and it was introduced in the early-1920s. It is a mile and a half race for 3-year-olds and up and it is scheduled for October. This race has proved a happy hunting-ground for Frankie Dettori, who is the most successful jockey in the race’s history. Frankie has ridden 6 winners, the last of which was Campanologist in 2011.
The Premio Lydia Tesio
The Premio Lydia Tesio is run at Capannelle and is for fillies and mares aged at least 3 years. This October fixture was promoted to G1 status in 1977. Dettori currently ties for the position of top jockey with Sergio Fancera. Both have 3 wins. Dettori’s last victory came aboard Lara’s Idea in 1991.
The Premio Roma completes the list of Italian G1 races. This is a November fixture and the race distance is 1.25 miles (3-year-olds and up). John Dunlop is the most successful trainer. He has 4 wins under his belt, the last two of which were back-to-back successes with Taipan in 1997 and 1998.
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