GRAN PREMIO DITALIA, LISTED,
The Gran Premio dItalia was once a very important race because, when the Italian Derby was restricted only to horses born and bred in Italy, it stood for the double check in Milan for the winner of the roman classic, in presence, this time, of imported horses, on the same distance of 12 furlongs.
Then the opening of the Italian Derby free for all horses, modified the state of the affairs and by consequence the Gran Premio dItalia has, step by step, lost every technical substance and so, after various vicissitudes, has landed at a limbus of doubtful sense, being now only a consolation race on the 10 furlongs for those horses who have been beaten in the classic cycle, on 8 or 12 furlongs.
In accordance with these preliminary statements, Shibunis Falcon, 5th in the Italian Derby (won by the German Kallisto), was the favourite and won, but after a difficult struggle; he was certainly the holder of the best issues in the field, which included the GermanSwiss Lam Dash and the English, well known in Italy, Priestlaw, who ran worse than every expectations (5th from counter favourite at the tote).
Shibunis Falcon won after struggle drawing back the external attack of Around Alone (1st in the Premio Merano, Handicap listed of may, 11) and the inside one of Fluxus, advancing very fast along the rail.
From a genealogical point of view it must be noted that the first four at the finish are all sons of sires coming down in direct male line from the chief de race Northern Dancer. The winner is a son of Polar Falcon (stud fee for the year 2000: 8000 pounds), athlete stout and of good qualities from 6 to 8 furlongs but genealogically a little better, being a son of the important Nureyev and coming down from a female line developed for a long time in France by Rothschild family (in a particular manner by baron Guy), from whom in the past decades were born Shantung and Sassafras and in most recent years, Last Tycoon and Celtic Swing.
With this fatherly and with the third father Thatch, a pure sprinter, it is plain that Shibunis Falcon can find some troubles on classic distances of 12 furlongs, while the endurance far as classic distance is assured from the stamina brought by his grandfather, Damister.
With regard to Thatch, it should be noted that this stallion and the mother of Nureyev, Special, are brothergerman, and so they put in a inbred 3x3, near but a little remarkable, like that 5x5 on Native Dancer.
The female line of Shibunis Falcon (fem. 7) was introduced in Italy exactly 20 years ago when the Scuderia S. Carlo imported from France S.te Nitouche, bred by countess S. Sanjust de Teluada. This daughter of Riverman, is a placed in listed race for females at mile. Later, at stud, she bred two daughters, both of them listedwinners: Saint Samba, by Thatch, born in 1983, and saint Georgette, born in 1987, by Glenstal.
Saint Samba, winner of the Premio Bagutta and Royal Mares, in Turin, both Gr.3, is not in evidence as a mare, while Shibunis Falcon is the second foal of Shibuni, born in 1991, unraced; born after the not good Shibubat, by Batshoof, placed at 2 and 3 years. He was purchased at ANAC yearling sales in Milan, October 20, 1998, for 10 million Italian lires.
Roma, July 3, 2000
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