Folgaria digs deep to give Botti an emotional victory at Newbury

Folgaria provided Marco Botti with an emotional success in the Dubai Duty Free Stakes at Newbury.

The Newmarket-based Italian trainer has had a tough time coming to terms with the tragic death of compatriot Stefano Cherchi following a fall in Australia.

However, this filly did her bit to help lift spirits when digging deep under Hollie Doyle to shade the Grade Three (Fred Darling) prize at 5-1.

Regal Jubilee looked set to prove a tough nut to crack after taking over from Star Music at the head of affairs and John and Thady Gosden’s charge battled on gamely, while Elmalka made good late progress.

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But Folgaria, who claimed five consecutive victories in Italy as a juvenile last term when trained by Botti’s brother in her homeland, quickened up well to get to the front and then would not be denied in the closing stages, getting home by a neck from the rallying Regal Jubilee.

Botti was represented by his wife, Lucie, who said: “It’s very hard to translate the form into English form, but she did nothing wrong in Italy and won all her races fairly easily last year.

“She’s been pleasing us at home since she joined us and is very straightforward. We absolutely love her, hopefully she can do much better things in the future.

“The immediate plan is likely to be the French Guineas and after that the sky is the limit, she could be an international filly and hopefully not sold too soon for us. She’s very talented, she’s the champion Italian filly and she has showed now she is good enough everywhere else.”

She added: “You couldn’t write this, Andrea (Atzeni) winning the Sydney Cup with Stefano’s parents there and now this filly bringing Italian racing to life again, it is quite special.

“Marco went to Stefano’s funeral and obviously his brother trained this filly in Italy. Everyone is going to be so pleased, especially in the yard. The winter can be so hard for everyone so it’s always so good to have such beautiful horses and those animals just bring us to life.”

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Of the runner-up, Cheveley Park’s Chris Richardson said: “We were thrilled, we were hoping for a bit of cover but it wasn’t going to happen and we were fearful of who would make the running.

“She has run very well, very game and she loved the ground and the trip was short enough for her. She’s finished very promisingly and the plan will be to go to the (Newmarket) Guineas.

“I think the extra furlong will suit her hopefully and I think she is a very exciting prospect. I know she hasn’t got a huge amount of scope and we need to get on and run, but she has run very promisingly there.”

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