Tag Archive for: Giavellotto

Melbourne Cup off the agenda for Giavellotto

Giavellotto will head to Qipco Champions Day or be put away until next season after connections shelved the idea of having a tilt at this year’s Melbourne Cup.

A narrow winner of the Yorkshire Cup in the spring, Marco Botti’s stable star has since finished fifth in the Goodwood Cup and third in the Lonsdale Cup back at York last month.

Given Giavellotto’s preference for a sound surface, a trip to Australia appeared an attractive proposition – but with the stringent veterinary checks required to contest the Flemington showpiece seemingly a factor, he will not contest the ‘race that stops a nation’ in early November.

“He’s in good form and has come out of the race at York in fine shape, but we’re not going to Australia,” said Botti.

“There were a few niggling problems and it’s not going to happen this year unfortunately. He’s fine, but there were concerns we might get him there and he wouldn’t be able to run or whatever, so we just decided bypass it for this year.

“Hopefully next year if we still have him and everything is going well then we can think about it as the Melbourne Cup is a race the owners would love to go for, and the race and the track would suit him as he seems to go on left-handed tracks.”

With the Melbourne Cup ruled out, the only viable option left for Giavellotto this season is the Qipco British Champions Long Distance Cup on October 21, but the prospect of demanding conditions at Ascot is an obvious concern.

“We’ll keep an eye on the weather as he will only go to Ascot if the ground is not too soft. Good to soft is fine, but he wouldn’t want to run on anything softer than that,” Botti added.

“If he doesn’t go to Ascot we’ll just put him away for the winter.

“We haven’t discussed plans for next year with the owners yet. I wouldn’t rule out going back to Dubai World Cup night for the Gold Cup, but let’s see how he winters and how he is after a nice break.”

Giavellotto enters Melbourne Cup equation

Marco Botti has expressed his pride in Giavellotto’s brave run in defeat at York, with connections now mulling over a possible tilt at the Melbourne Cup later in the year.

The Yorkshire Cup champion was returning to the scene of his finest hour when lining-up in the Lonsdale Cup and lost little in defeat as he fought out the finish with the Ascot Gold Cup first and second, Courage Mon Ami and Coltrane.

It was Andrew Balding’s consistent performer who came out on top on the Knavesmire, with Botti’s four-year-old giving way to the stronger stayers late in the day as he finished two lengths adrift in third.

However, the Newmarket-based handler was far from despondent as his long distance star showed his qualities once again.

Botti said: “It was a good run and he was beaten by two proper stayers who finished first and second in the Gold Cup. They are the best stayers around and maybe they just outstayed him.

“I always thought one-mile-six would be Giavellotto’s optimum trip. He gets the two miles but when he runs against the proper stayers, maybe the final furlong gets a bit hard work.

“It was no disgrace to finish third behind two proper stayers and he is a horse who has been consistent and tries his best all the time. For sure he handles York quite well.”

Giavellotto holds entries in the Comer Group International Irish St Leger (Curragh, September 10) and the Qipco British Champions Long Distance Cup at Ascot on British Champions Day (October 21).

However, Botti is hoping to get the go-ahead from owner Francesca Franchini of Scuderia La Tesa Limited to travel to Australia for the ‘race that stops a nation’ at Flemington on November 7.

“He’s a horse who wouldn’t want the ground too soft. He is in the Irish St Leger, but we thought by then you don’t know what the ground will be,” explained Botti.

“We are still discussing about the Melbourne Cup and I’m pretty sure we will enter him and then finalise the plans. Otherwise in England it will just be Champions Day as the only goal left for him.”

He went on: “I would be in favour (of going for the Melbourne Cup). The fact he went to Dubai and is a horse who travels well and I also think the track will suit him – it is similar to York, a left-handed track.

“I think he will get in. He won a Group Two so he should make the cut for the Melbourne Cup, but then it is up to the owners as it is quite an expensive trip to take on and as we know the rules are quite strict before the race. The vetting can be tricky but he is a sound horse.

“If we take that route, hopefully all goes to plan, and I would be in favour if the owner wanted to go.”

If a trip to the Southern Hemisphere doesn’t come to fruition, Botti hopes to explore other options overseas for Giavellotto during his five-year-old campaign as he envisages his stable star improving further with experience.

“He’s a nice horse to still have in the yard and we have been able to win a Group Two this year,” he added.

“He’s a nice horse to have and maybe campaign abroad next year, whether that be Dubai or Saudi Arabia. We’re not planning too far ahead but he’s definitely a horse who has scope to get even better.”

Lonsdale Cup next consideration for Giavellotto

Marco Botti is eyeing a return to York for Giavellotto following his fifth-placed finish in last week’s Goodwood Cup.

A narrow winner of the Yorkshire Cup on the Knavesmire in May, the four-year-old sidestepped the Gold Cup at Royal Ascot to be saved for the second half of the season.

He made his return to action on the Sussex Downs and while unable to land a blow on the front-running Quickthorn, he was beaten just half a length for second in a blanket finish for minor honours.

While frustrated with how the Group One contest was run as Quickthorn built up a big lead the chasing pack were ultimately unable to bridge, Botti was pleased with his star stayer’s performance.

He said: “It was a funny race to watch, obviously. The winner is a good horse and with that margin of a lead he was never going to be caught.

“I thought our horse ran his race and ran well, it’s just a shame we were beaten a short head, a short head and a neck for second. To finish fifth just leaves a bit of a bitter taste in the mouth.

“How the race was run was a bit disappointing, but credit to the winner. He’s a good horse and he has done that before, which is why I was surprised they let him take a big advantage.

“I think our horse he proved he’s up to that level and probably the ground was a little bit on the slow side for him – he’d definitely prefer better ground.”

Giavellotto is entered for the two-mile Lonsdale Cup at York on August 25 and the Irish St Leger over a mile and three-quarters at the Curragh on September 10.

And while Botti feels the shorter distance may be more suitable for his charge, Botti is leaning towards the Lonsdale due to likelihood of getting his favoured conditions.

“I think we have to say two miles is not an issue, but his optimum trip is probably a mile and six furlongs,” he added.

“He stays (two miles), he relaxes well and he enjoys the track at York, so we’ll see how he comes out and works in the next 10 days, but York has to be considered.

“The worry with the Irish St Leger would be if the ground went quite soft or heavy as that is not what he wants. I’m sure in terms of giving him a bit more time it wouldn’t be against him, but I don’t think I would run him on very testing ground.

“At the moment we’re waiting to see how he is, but we’re planning to go to York.”

Botti happy to chart direct Goodwood route with Giavellotto

Marco Botti is banking on his decision to skip the Gold Cup at Ascot paying dividends in the Al Shaqab Goodwood Cup for Giavellotto.

Promoted to third in the St Leger behind Eldar Eldarov last season, he beat that rival in the Yorkshire Cup last month, admittedly in receipt of 5lb.

Botti decided against going to Ascot feeling two miles is as far as his stable star wants to go, and an entry in the Irish St Leger suggests he may even be coming back in trip later in the season.

“Giavellotto is very well and the plan was always to go straight for the Goodwood Cup,” said Botti.

“The horse won well at York and then we were keen to give him more time rather than stepping up to the Gold Cup, as we think two miles is his best trip.

“He has matured a lot mentally from three to four and we expected him to improve this season, as most stayers do with age. He used to wear a hood and get quite warm before his races but that was not the case in the Yorkshire Cup.

“We were disappointed on his first run back in the Dubai Gold Cup but he was drawn wide and the race did not pan out for him, so it was nice to see him show what we thought he was capable of at York.

“You never know until you run at Goodwood whether they will handle the track, but he seems a well-balanced horse and the long straight will be in his favour.”

Courage Mon Ami gave Frankie Dettori a ninth Gold Cup win at Ascot
Courage Mon Ami gave Frankie Dettori a ninth Gold Cup win at Ascot (David Davies/PA)

Giavellotto is one of 26 entries for the Goodwood race, which include the Gold Cup winner Courage Mon Ami.

His John and Thady Gosden-trained stablemate and Queen’s Vase winner Gregory, who is so far unbeaten, is another potential rival.

Subjectivist, Coltrane, Eldar Eldarov and Emily Dickinson are others given the option.

Goodwood Cup goal for Giavellotto

Marco Botti’s Yorkshire Cup hero Giavellotto will seek further staying riches later this summer with the Al Shaqab Goodwood Cup highlighted as his next target.

The four-year-old rose rapidly through the handicap ranks to earn a crack at the St Leger last season and acquitted himself with real credit in that staying Classic to pass the post in fourth, promoted to third following interference.

Although disappointing in the Dubai Gold Cup in his first outing of the year, he thrived when stepping onto the Knavesmire for the Yorkshire Cup, highlighting himself as a top-quality operator to reverse Doncaster form with Eldar Eldarov.

Despite that race often serving as a trial for the Gold Cup, Giavellotto does not hold an entry for the Royal Ascot feature and although supplementing did briefly come under discussion, connections have decided to stick with their original plan to swerve the summer showpiece.

The Mastercraftsman colt will now be primed for action on the Sussex Downs on August 1 where he will try to land his first Group One prize.

“He’s come out of the race at York well and we’re pleased with him, he seems in good form,” said Botti.

“We had a good catch up with the owners and they decided they don’t want to go for the Gold Cup at Ascot and we will stick to the original plan.

Marco Botti after winning the Boodles Yorkshire Cup Stakes with Giavellotto
Marco Botti after winning the Boodles Yorkshire Cup Stakes with Giavellotto (Mike Egerton/PA)

“Even before he won at York, I felt the extra few furlongs of the Gold Cup wasn’t going to help him run his best race and we always felt it wasn’t going to be the race we were aiming for.

“We’re going to skip it and aim at the Goodwood Cup on August 1.”

Giavellotto holds an entry in the Comer Group International Irish St Leger at the Curragh on September 10 and that could prove a further port of call with Botti plotting a potential path to the Melbourne Cup at Flemington in November.

He continued: “If he does well at Goodwood then we have entered him in the Irish St Leger on September 10 and then we if we go any further, we haven’t ruled out the Melbourne Cup.

“It is not a firm plan, but we will consider it and make a decision as we go along.

“He definitely stays the two miles. I felt the one-mile-six at York was always the race we wanted to go for as I felt the track and trip was tailor-made for him and I’m glad he showed what he was capable of.

“He was probably unlucky in the St Leger. He didn’t have a clear run and in Dubai it just didn’t happen for him, but he showed that in the right conditions, on the right track he is quite a nice stayer.”

Giavellotto hits the target to put Botti back in the limelight

Giavellotto is the Italian word for javelin, a piece of equipment that can travel both far and fast when handled with precision and power.

A javelin would traditionally arc in a perfect straight line too, a skill Marco Botti’s colt will learn in time now the speed and stamina elements of his craft are well proven.

Giavellotto is a son of Mastercraftsman out of a Galileo mare named Gerika, a chestnut like her son who ran in the same silks at Italian tracks like Capannelle and San Siro.

Of her seven runners to take to the track Giavellotto looked like the gifted child even before today, scoring by five lengths in a Newmarket handicap and then outrunning 28-1 odds with a gallant performance behind Eldar Eldarov in the St Leger, crossing the line in fourth but being promoted to third.

He ended last season with another smart performance, this time finishing second to Kevin Philippart De Foy’s useful El Habeeb in the Noel Murless Stakes at Ascot.

Winning trainer Marco Botti after the Boodles Yorkshire Cup
Winning trainer Marco Botti after the Boodles Yorkshire Cup (Mike Egerton/PA)

A winter holiday in Meydan then resulted in a luckless outing in the Dubai Gold Cup, where he could not overcome a wide draw and eventually came home down the field as Broome came out on top.

The two horses met again on the Knavesmire for the Boodles Yorkshire Cup, and while Broome was the 9-4 joint-favourite alongside Meydan runner-up Siskany, Giavellotto was largely overlooked under Andrea Atzeni at odds of 14-1.

Throughout the course of the one-mile-six-furlong contest the colt did little to draw attention to himself as he travelled along in mid-division and most eyes focused on Eldar Eldarov, Broome and Quickthorn – the latter the reigning Lonsdale Cup champion.

As the race approached the final three furlongs, however, it was Giavellotto who was gaining ground as he began to leave his past rivals behind him at the furlong pole.

Then there was a wobble, and as the post approached Giavellotto began to search for the inside rail, hampering Quickthorn and running into the space Broome probably had in mind for his next few strides.

Botti’s charge crossed the line first and Eldar Eldarov, having challenged down the centre of the course, was second, but the sound of post-race celebrations were soon interrupted by the bing-bong chime that precedes a stewards’ inquiry.

It was a lengthy one too, and Botti crossed his fingers as he tended to Giavellotto before delivering a cautiously optimistic interview to the waiting television cameras.

Eventually the second chime sounded and the victory was confirmed, at which point the trainer embraced a sobbing Italian woman named Francesca Franchini, now the owner and breeder of a Yorkshire Cup hero.

“We were a bit nervous because you never know what could happen in the stewards’ room, but I’m delighted,” he said.

“We thought he would come here with a good chance, obviously the form of the St Leger was good form. In hindsight he was a bit unlucky with the interference and he didn’t have a clear run, but today he’s proven he’s up to this level.

“He stays well, he’s still a little immature and for a four-year-old he’s still quite babyish mentally.

“Before he ran in the St Leger he had only won a handicap in Newmarket, we always said we’d just bring him along and give him time to mature.

“He ran a big race in the St Leger and we took him to Dubai in March for the Gold Cup, but it didn’t really work out and here we are!”

The Yorkshire Cup often leads into the Gold Cup at Ascot but that will not be the case for Giavellotto, who does not hold an entry as Botti does not see the track being exactly to his liking.

He said: “He will just get better and better, we don’t know where we will go next yet. We’ve never felt Ascot will be the track for him, he’s a big horse and we don’t feel it will suit so we will be looking for other options.”

Of Scuderia La Tesa, Francini’s breeding operation, and the evident emotion of the success, he added: “It’s great for the owner, who bred the horse as well, I’m delighted.

“They’re from Milan, they actually lost the mare this year so the owner is quite emotional because it means a lot.

“It’s the first Group race they’ve won in England so she was quite emotional. It’s great for the yard, we’ve had a couple of quiet years and it’s great to be back with a nice horse.”

Nice horses are hard to come by and seem harder still to keep hold of, something Botti knows well as he has seen several prospects sold abroad over the last few seasons.

“Last year to the year before, we had horses like Tatsumaki, who was unbeaten and then sold to Hong Kong,” he said.

“We’ve always been in a situation where we’re on the market and we have to sell sometimes, they don’t come along very often these good horses.

“It’s great we’ve kept him and hopefully we’ll have some fun through the season – a Melbourne Cup would be nice!”

Giavellotto crowned in Yorkshire Cup for Botti and Atzeni

Giavellotto turned the tables on his St Leger conqueror Eldar Eldarov to secure top honours in the Boodles Yorkshire Cup.

The Roger Varian-trained Eldar Eldarov was the Classic hero at Doncaster, a race in which Marco Botti’s Giavellotto passed the post in fourth but was later promoted to third after suffering interference.

In a twist on the Knavesmire, Giavellotto was the one causing interference, but following a stewards’ inquiry the placings remained unaltered in the one-mile-six-furlong feature.

Ninth behind the reopposing Broome in the Dubai Gold Cup at Meydan in March, the 14-1 chance quickened up smartly to grab the lead under Andrea Atzeni, but hung left under pressure, impeding both the long-time leader Quickthorn and Broome on the far side of the track.

In the meantime Eldar Eldarov, making his first appearance since the autumn, was building up a head of steam closer to stands rail and charged home to beaten just half a length, with Broome only a further length behind in third.

Botti said: “He came across a little bit in the last furlong, he didn’t interfere with the runner-up but Andrea said he was just idling a little bit once he hit the front. Last year he ran a huge race in the St Leger, he didn’t have much luck in Dubai with the wide draw, but we’ve always thought he was a very good stayer.

“He’s still very lightly raced. It was a good field with the St Leger winner and Broome in there, but I thought we would be here with a chance. I put a line through the race in Dubai, he was drawn in stall 15 and it just didn’t go to plan but we were confident he would run a good race.”

He added: “It’s very important, it’s been a couple of quiet years so to have a horse of this calibre is great. It’s great for the staff at home and for the owner, who bred the horse.”

Giavellotto after winning at York (
Giavellotto after winning at York (Molly Hunter/PA)

Varian, meanwhile, was as happy with Eldar Eldarov as Botti was with the winner.

“He’s run like he’s the best horse in the race. He’s given the winner 5lb and he’s given Broome 2lb, it was a really good run,” he said.

“It was a very good run with a view to the Gold Cup. That was over a mile and six furlongs and we’ve always felt that he would get the Gold Cup distance.

“We put a line through his run at Ascot in October, which was his first try beyond this trip, but it was heavy ground that day, which he won’t run on again.

“Every time he’s run over this trip he has looked like he is only getting going at the line and that is why we think the Gold Cup will suit him, so we’ll look forward to that. He’s very versatile regarding ground. He goes on anything really, he won’t run on heavy ground again, (but) apart from that he’s pretty versatile.

“It was a good trial for the Gold Cup. It was a shame he didn’t win, but I don’t think he lost anything in defeat. At the weights he’s run like the winner really.”

Hughie Morrison at York
Hughie Morrison at York (Mike Egerton/PA)

Of Quickthorn, Hughie Morrison said: “The interference definitely cost us third, but it’s a funny rule we have. It leaves a bit of a sour taste because it costs you £30,000. He’s run well, though. The jockey (Oisin Murphy) said he jumped good, he felt well and he’s a damn good horse.

“I just think maybe two miles around here suits him better because then there is two bends.

“He’s run up to his best, probably, other than the freak race he won over two miles here last year (Lonsdale Cup).

“He won’t go to Ascot, the way we ride him we feel he doesn’t get two and a half miles so we’ll discuss where we go. A mile and six is his minimum.

“He could go for the race he won last year (Group Two Prix Maurice de Nieuil). He could even go jumping! Someone has to take on Constitution Hill!”