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LXI Gran Premio Merano

International steeplechase, metres 5.000; Merano; 24 September 2000, going soft

  1. GREY JACK, 8y, by BIKALA out Cacke, by CROW, owner: Mr. G. Vuillard, breeder: in France, trainer: J. Ortet, jockey: C. Pieux,
  2. SOPRAN BIRO, f.b. 7y, by ROI DANZIG out Bird Point, by ALLEGED, O.: Mrs. B. Waldner, B.: Az. Agr. S. Uberto, T.: E. de La Motte, J.: Mr. P. Brechet,
  3. THE OUBACK WAY, g.b. 10y, by KAMBALDA out Precision Chopper, by MENELEK, O.: Seasons Holidays, B.: in Great Britain, T.: Miss V. Williams, J.: N. Williamson,
  4. SOMETHING SPECIAL, 9y, by BABY TURK out Exiled, by IRON RULER, O.: Sc. Centrale, T.: E. de La Motte, B. : Haras du Thenneey (Fr), J.: C. Monjon,
  5. BOCA BOCA, g.b. 6y, by MANDALUS out Bonne Bouche by BONNE NOEL, O.: J.D. Martin, B.: in France, T.: F. Doumen, J.: T. Doumen,
  6. LORQUIN, g.b. 11y, O.:Wolfi, B.: in France, T.: T. Civel, J.: L. Demaria,

Also run: Magic Baiki, Gorge de Hareb, Vinciano, Tergeste, Law’s Answer, Beauty King;

fallen: Diatelot, Gatsby IV, Skywasser; stopped: No Surrreder, World is Our; swerded: Wild Doc.

Distances. 4l, 4l, head, 17l.

ANALYSIS: international finish for the 61st running of Gran Premio di Merano, one of the most important steeples of the entire European schedule, more particularly of that middle European circle, of which Merano represents, starting from the second half of nineteenth century, a well-known and typical place.

The race was reported by the French horse Grey Jack, previously 3rd in the 1998 edition of this race, then running in support to stable mate Or Jack, unfortunately hurt in a very serious accident in the last race at Auteuil (Parigi) when was in training for the Italian steeple.

Grey Jack was brilliantly ridden by C. Pieux, dominating the race from half the competition to finish, and crossed in smoothness in front of the Italian mare Sopran Biro, ridden by the French gentleman P. Brechet, in difficulties at the distance, as already occurred to her in the previous running of the Gran Premio di Merano.

The English gelding The Outback Way, one of the finest in the presentation ring, was 3rd. He was back at the track from the third place in the Nakayama Gran Steeple in April, in Japan, and found difficulties on a few jumps, too large and too high, but well acted on the fast course of Merano track. He preceded just for a head the French horse, Italian naturalized, Something Special, while in 5th place arrived the betting favourite (at 2 ½) Boca Boca, far from the first horses, handicapped by a long set of errors on the more difficult jumps of the race.

The winner is a son of Bikala, coming down from the male line of Nasrullah – Grey Sovereign – Kalamoun, morphologically monumental, and also for this reason purchased yearling for just 6.000 IRE Guineas. But then at the tracks, Bikala was the winner of the French Derby (unexpected, gambled at 17/1) and at four years of Prix Ganay, Gr1, metres 2.100 at Longchamp, but, then, at stud, in France, from 1983, he didn’t meet the breeder’s expectation and after the covering season 1993 he was declared unfit for service for low fertility.

The father of the mother of Grey Jack is the classic – stayer Crow, coming down from the French classic male line of Vieux Manoir – Le Haar – Exbury, very well succeeded with jumping heirs.

Grey Jack, very improved with the last September races at Auteuil , after the long stop occurred to him because of the accident he had after the 2nd place in Grande Steeple Chase di Milano of 1999, has already reserved his presence in the 2001 running of Gran Premio di Merano for developing the successes sequence started by his stable mate Or Jack with 3 victories in this race.

Roma. September 24, 2000.

Leonello Falco

For more information regarding the Italian Derby and up to date Italian racing and bloodstock information please contact Leonello Falco

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