ITALY: Afsare and Putra out to plunder Presidente prize

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By Guy Butchers
Racing Post

Estejo (centre) beats Voila Ici in Premio Presidente della Repubblica 2011

Afsare is looking for a first win since taking the Listed Hampton Court Stakes at Royal Ascot in 2010, but ran with some promise on hisreturn to action last month, finishing fourth behind Questioning in the Group 3 Earl Of Sefton Stakes at Newmarket.

The German-trained and Italian-owned Estejo (Ralf Rohne/Mirco Demuro) collected this prize a year ago but then missed the rest of the season having sustained an injury. He has needed his two starts this year, although he was staying on encouragingly when runner-up to Saratoga Black (Bruno Grizzetti/Dario Vargiu) in the Group 3 Premio Ambrosiano at San Siro last month.

Saratoga Black ran abysmally on his only subsequent start, while Estejo has reportedly thrivedsince that defeat and is bidding for a third Group 1 win.

Quiza Quiza Quiza (Luigi Riccardi/Cristian Demuro) was third to Estejo in this race last year and showed improved form when closing her 2011 campaign with a Group 1 success over John Dunlop’s Beatrice Aurore in the Longines Lydia Tesio.  

She split Crackerjack King and Estejo when runner-up in a conditions race at San Siro on her seasonal return last month and while connections believe she has improved greatly for that outing and has enjoyed a trouble-free preparation, the same can be said for the classy Crackerjack King.

Waldpark (Andreas Wohler/Eddie Pedroza) is the second Derby winner in the line-up, having won the German version last year when the Tom Dascombe-trained Brown Panther was just over four lengths back in fifth.

Waldpark was a beaten favourite when failing by a half-length to overhaul Mighty Mouse in a Cologne Listed race last month and is expected to leave behind that form.

View the original article at the Racing Post

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