Top 5 Italian Race Horse Trainers
We’re continuing our study of global horse racing this week with a look at some of Italy’s best race horse trainers, both past and present.
Tesio is largely regarded as the most important person in the history of Italian Horse Racing, and he was a true rags-to-riches story having been orphaned at 6 only to elevate himself to one of the most important breeders of race horses on the planet.
He bred and trained an amazing 21 Derby Italiano winners, 20 of which he owned or part-owned, between 1911 and 1954, a list that comprises Guido Reni (1911), Rembrandt (1912), Fausta (1914), Van Dyck (1915), Gianpietrina (1917), Meissonier (1919), Ghiberti (1920), Michelangelo (1921), Melozzo da Forlì (1922), Cima da Conegliano (1923), Apelle (1926), Jacopa del Sellaio (1932), Ugolino da Siena (1935), Donatello II (1937), Nearco (1938), Bellini (1940), Niccolo dell’Arca (1941), Torbido (1944), Tenerani (1947), Daumier (1951), Botticelli (1954).
He also trained 13 winners of the Premier Parioli (Italian 2,000 Guineas): Guido Reni (1911), Burne Jones (1918), Canova (1919), Delleana (1928), Nogara (1931), Jacopa del Sellaio (1932), Bernina (1934), Niccolo da Foligno (1935), Nearco (1938), Niccolo dell’Arca (1941), Simone da Bologna (1943), Astolfina (1948), Botticelli (1954)
The breeding lines he started are still going strong today, with one of the strongest lines being that of Cavaliere d’Arpino, the great grandfather of Ribot. Tesio also bred Nearco who sired Neararctic – the sire of the legendary Northern Dancer.
Botti is currently the main man of Italian Horse Racing, and has enjoyed a plethora of big-race wins in Italy’s Classics in recent years, making him especially popular with Italian Horse Racing fans who were getting fed-up of big stables from around Europe plundering their top-prizes. He has saddled 3 Deby Italiano winners in Crackerjack King, Dylan Mouth and Goldstream, 3 Oaks D’Italia winners in Cherry Collect, Charity Lane and Final Score, 2 Premio Parioli winners in Hero Look and Poetta Diletto, and 3 Premio Regina Elena winners in Cherry Collect, Sounds Of Freedom and Conselice.
Grizetti is best known for his handling of fillies who excelled at 1-mile, and is the leading trainer post 1986 in the Premio Regina Elena (Italian 1,000 Guineas) with 7 winners between 1999 and 2013.These comprised Shenck (1999), Xua (2000), Sadowa (2002), Rumba Loca (2004), Lokaloka (2007), Stay Alive (2011) and Dancer Destination (2013). He also trained Maktub to win the Irish St Leger, as well as Cima De Triomphe and Rakti to win the Italian Derby.
To most punters in the UK, Marco Botti is probably the most well-known Italian Horse Racing Trainer, and he’s done well since moving from his native Italy. He’s enjoyed much success both in the UK and abroad, including returning home to plunder the Group 2 Gran Premio Milano in 2016.
ll Cavallo In Testa
Perhaps one trainer to watch out for in the future is Il Cavallo In Testa, who won his first Italian Classic when Saent won the 2016 Italian Derby.