Italy: Ventura whips up a storm in Milan’s San Siro

Ventura Storm won the Feilden Stakes in April

PICTURE: Mark Cranham (racingpost.com/photos) Ventura whips up a storm in Milan's San Siro By Alex Wiltshire 8:32PM 16 OCT 2016

VENTURA STORM on Sunday found himself embroiled in another gruelling battle at the end of an energy-sapping contest, however on this occasion, the St Leger runner-up rallied under Cristian Demuro to gain a first Group 1 triumph over Full Drago in the Premio Jockey Club at San Siro in Milan.

Middleham Park Racing's three-year-old collected a prize of £91,000 for his shareholders, but racing manager Tom Palin said it was the Group 1 status that mattered most.

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"That was all about the Group 1, the prize-money is great but we've come here for a Group 1 and we've got it," he said.

"He's deserved that, he got a bit outstayed in the Leger but on this occasion we've outstayed them. It's been awfully wet here in Milan but he handled conditions superbly. He travelled beautifully and was given a great ride by Cristian. When push came to shove he got his head in front."

Palin admitted he was unsure what awaits their third winner at Group 1 level, who was providing trainer Richard Hannon with a first top-level success of the year.

"I don't know what the future holds," he said. "If any stud comes in for him we'd have to consider it, but we'd love to keep hold of him. He's been our flagship horse this year and for someone like us to be competing at this level in middle-distance races is quite something.

"His loyal band of owners were all present, they follow him here, there and everywhere."

Of the other British raiders, the Andrew Balding-trained Elbereth finished third and Sir Michael Stoute-trained Arab Spring fourth, while Dylan Mouth trailed home last of seven.

Dylan Mouth's trainer Marco Botti fared better in Italy's top juvenile race, the Group 2 Gran Criterium, saddling Bahamas to finish second to German raider Skarina Gold, while the trainer's Brandybend was fourth in a Listed race at Bro Park in Sweden.

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