100,000e Gran Premio Societa in Italy

09:18 AM 02 Apr 2014 NZDT
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Mack Grace SM, harness racing
Mack Grace SM is the favorite in Italy this Sunday

The incomparable Mack Grace SM heads a strong field for the 110,000 euro Gran Premio Societa Campo Mirafiori, an Italian national group one for horses 5years and older at Turin on Sunday.

It is the champion stallion's first appearance since he made a cameo appearance in the Prix d'Amerique at Vincennes, which was, as expected a good deal too far for the Italian speedster, who is all but invincible at home at distances under 2100m.

To date the Antonio Porzio-trained son of unheralded US export CC's Chuckie T and Ambro Grace has amassed 1,286,719 euros following 46 victories from 92 attempts which included an amazing 17 out of 18 prior to his Prix d'Amerique failure.

Indeed, he had a stellar 2013, in which he won 11 group races last year including six at group one level including the Grand Slam jewel Lotteria di Agnano final for the second time.

But all his major wins have been at home, although with his record over multiple heat races on the same day, you would think a race like Sweden's Elitloppet would be right up his ally.

This is a superb field for this year's renewal of the Turin classic, with top French trainers Fabrice Souloy (Marielles) and Thierry Duvaldestin (Pascia' Lest) fronting up with their Italian-bred charges which are now trained from their Normandy bases.

Marielles won the group one Gran Premio Nazioni on this track in November, beating French champ Timoko and has been competing in France during the Winter Meeting, where she picked up several decent checks, including one for third in the prestigious Prix de Bourbonnais. She also raced under saddle in the World Championship for monte, the Prix du Cornullier, although she galloped.

Pascia' Lest, a former Italian Derby winner, is coming off some super form in France, where he ran second to Univers de Pan in the Grand Criterium Nice-Matin in early March. The son of Varenne also ran third twice in French group twos at Vincennes in the just completed Winter Meeting, which speaks volumes for his potential ability at the very highest level.

Napolean Bar is another with more than half a million euros in winnings from 12 wins from 42 starts, including six at group level.

This son of Varenne was second in last year's Lotteria final and also has some very credible French form with a group two runners-up and a fifth placing in the Criterium Continental , the year it was won by French superstar Timoko (2011).

He has just come back from a brief excursion to France, but was second in his last Italian start, to none other than Mack Grace SM.

The other with perhaps a chance in this is Cantab Hall stallion Owen CR, another with French experience, a winner of seven of his 42 start, 4 at group level for 537,219 euros with an uncanny ability to get in the money in the big races.

He won the GP Giorgio Jegher last year, which although his only win in 2013 was one of 11 top three placings including eight runners-up checks.

GRAN PREMIO SOCIETA CAMPO MIRAFIORI

Turin, Italy

2014-04-06 Group 1 Nat 1600m  110 000 euros

1 Owen Cr (h Cantab Hall - Boemia Cr) Dr: Pietro Gubellini Tr: Pietro

2 Marielles (m Kick Tail - Egida Play) Dr: Franck Nivard Tr: Fabrice Souloy

3 Napoleon Bar (h Varenne - Dalmazia) Dr: Giampaolo Minnucci Tr: Catello Savarese

4 Mack Grace Sm (h CC's Chuckie T - Ambro Grace Sm) Dr: Roberto Andreghetti Tr: Antonio Porzio 1

5 Pascia' Lest (h Varenne - Superiors Sun) Dr: Enrico Bellei Tr: Thierry Duvaldestin

6 Orione Degli Dei (g Conway Hall - Elissa Dei) Dr: Mauro Baroncini Tr: Mauro Baroncini

7 Probo Op (h From Above - Elimara) Dr: Edoardo Moni T Tr: eam Moni

8 Oibambam Effe {m Classic Photo - Etna Sec) Dr: Andrea Guzzinati Tr: Salvatore Carro

9 Newyork Newyork (h Supergill - Viola d'Amore) Dr: Lorenzo Baldi Tr: Lorenzo Baldi

10 Pace del Rio (h Varenne - Urbem d'Asolo) Dr: Santo Mollo Tr: Santo Mollo

by David Sanders, for Harnesslink.com

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