Marco Botti eyeing Greenham goal and American prizes with Malotru

Mon 4 May 2020

Marco Botti could aim at the Greenham Stakes with Malotru, en route to a possible American run.

The three-year-old was an Italian Group Three winner last year, but fell just short of the places in both the Gimcrack at York and Mill Reef at Newbury subsequently.

Malotru already has one start under his belt in 2020 having lifted the Listed Spring Cup at Lingfield in February and the son of Casamento could now have a Classic trial in his sights.

The Greenham is pencilled in for either May 23 or 24 under the British Horseracing Authority’s “best-case scenario” planning for the resumption of racing following the coronavirus shutdown.

Botti said: “The original plan had been the Greenham and then the German Guineas, but those races would be very close together now as the dates have obviously changed.

“I would say that we will maybe go for the Greenham, as seven furlongs also seems to be his best trip.

“The horse has been fine since his last run, we’ve kept him fit enough to be ready whenever we get the green light to start racing.”

Botti admits a Classic run would be unlikely for Malotru, but the Secretariat Stakes over a mile at Arlington on August 15 could be a long-term target, although racing is currently on hold at that venue due to the pandemic.

He said: “I would think the Guineas would be unlikely as going straight on a stiff mile at Newmarket would not be ideal for him.

“We had in mind to run him in America, in something like the Secretariat in August, so that might be the idea rather than running him in Classics in Europe.”

Plans are more fluid for Felix, who has won three of his four starts since joining Botti from Sir Michael Stoute’s yard at the end of last year.

The trainer said: “At the moment we are not quite sure where we would go with him – the plan was to go for the Classic on Finals Day at Lingfield.

“He’s high enough in the handicap now, over 100, so we will look to step him up and see where we are with him.

“He could maybe go for a Group Three in Italy and we might also look at America for him, maybe something like the Arlington Million.”

Botti reports his string to be in fine form and ready to step up preparations when a date is set for a return to racing.

He added: “We’ve been trying not to overdo them, but have them fit enough in case things get going by the end of May or beginning of June.

“The yard is in good shape and we’ll be ready to run. The races will likely be very busy with smaller fields and it might be hard to get into some races.

“Our two-year-olds seem quite forward this year though, so we will have a few ready to run soon.”

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