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Godolphin bought Ramonti, a French bred son of the little known sire Martino Alonso, from his Italian connections at the end of 2006.
These high profile purchases are, even for Sheikh Mohammed’s operation, seriously high-risk gambles. And gambling on Ramonti has certainly paid off for ‘the boys in blue’. He won four races last year. All four were Group One events.
6 b c Martino Alonso – Fosca / El Gran Senor
Trainer: Saeed bin Suroor
Ramonti raced exclusively in Group One company in 2007, when he opened his campaign by taking second, losing by just a head, in the Lockinge Stakes (G1) over a straight mile at Newbury in England. This race brought him on to Royal Ascot in fine form, and he won the Queen Anne Stakes (G1) at the prestigious summer meeting. But only just, as he was a nose better than the surprise runner-up Jeremy. The Queen Anne is also contested over a straight mile. ‘So’, you may wonder, ‘how will this horse cope with going around the turns at Nad Al Sheba?’
It is not going to be a problem. Read on and you will agree that this runner is about as tough and versatile as racehorses come. After his success at Ascot, he went to Goodwood, which is a right handed track with a marked downhill part as the horses come into the straight. Ramonti handled it well. Well enough to come out victorious in the Sussex Stakes (G1) over a mile. He won by a head from Excellent Art, who had also won a Group One contets at Royal Ascot and was in top form. Jeremy finished third, ahead of Asiatic Boy and Archipenko.
There is a good filly in France, called Darjina, and like Ramonti she is highly effective over a mile, or 1600 metres if you prefer. The two met in the Prix du Moulin de Longchamp (G1) in September. Darjina put up some performance in front of the Parisian racing fans as she won by 2 lengths from Ramonti, who was not quite at his best on the day. Still, once more he gave all he had, and he finished in front of George Washington, Linngari and Archipenko.
Did he have a hard race in France? Probably, and many felt that these tough battle would set him back, sooner or later. We are still waiting for that to happen…
Ramonti returned to Ascot three weeks later, and took on Excellent Art again in the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes (G1). This is a mile event over Ascot’s round course. Ramonti and Excellent Art had another excellent battle, with Ramonti proving half a length better than his rival. The place was buzzing as Dettori rode him back in after the success. Not mant doubted Ramonti anymore, and quite a few started talking about a trip to the Breeders’ Cup in the USA.
“I don’t think so” , trainer Saeed bin Suroor told the media in the winners’ enclosure, “perhaps he needs a break now, and we may want to take him to Hong Kong in December instead.” Those words surprised nobody, but bin Suroor added, “I would like to run him in the Hong Kong Cup.” That came as a bit of a surprise, as the Cup is run over 2000 metres.
Ramonti had been a close second in the Derby Italiano (G1) over 2400 metres as a three-year-old back in 2005, but he now seemed a natural miler.
Freshened up by a ten-week break, Ramonti did go to post for the Hong Kong Cup (G1) at Sha Tin, where he met Viva Pataca, considered a sure fire winner by the local fans. So certain were they that he would win, the backed Viva Pataca down to a ridiculously short price on the tote. He went off at 1.30, while Ramonti’s odds was 4.80. And he won again, Dettori rode one of his best races of the season, as he relied on Ramonti’s stamina and grabbed the initiative with just over 200 metres to go. Viva Pataca did close in on him as the winning post loomed, but Ramonti had plenty left in the tank and repelled the challenge for a half-length verdict. It was his 12th win from 15 career starts and, strange as it may seem, it would not be the biggest shock in this sport if he improves again this year, even at the age of six.
His target on Dubai World Cup night is probably the Dubai Duty Free (G1) over 1777 metres, and he would Ramonti the likely favourite for that turf event.
Read about Ramonti's performances in 2006 by clicking the link below which takes you to his pages from the Globeform Annual.
RAMONTI (Martino Alonso) GF07s
Last update: 2008-03-10 02:39:28 (First published: 2008-03-09 08:16:06 )
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