Botti bids for first British Group 1 win

HIGH HOPES: Marco Botti
HIGH HOPES: Marco Botti

Trainer Marco Botti is hopeful Aljazzi’s freshness could prove decisive in his bid to land a first ever Group 1 victory in Great Britain.

The Italian, who is based at Prestige Place on the Snailwell Road, has enjoyed top-level victories in America, France and Canada, but such triumphs have so far eluded him in this country.

However, with Aljazzi set to embark on just her fifth outing of the year at Saturday’s Kingdom Of Bahrain Sun Chariot Stakes on the Rowley Mile (2.40pm), Botti feels his four-year-old is in the best physical shape.

In contrast, should second favourite and Falmouth Stakes hero Roly Poly run, that will be a seventh appearance of 2017 for Aidan O’Brien’s filly, while the likes of Usherette and Sea of Grace are set to feature for a sixth time.

“Aljazzi has a very good chance, partly because she has been lightly raced this year,” said Botti.

“Some of the other fillies have had long and tough seasons, but Aljazzi is fresh and well.

“She is the sort of filly that likes a decent amount of space between her races and that is what we give her.

“She did her final serious piece of work on Saturday. Everything went well and I was very pleased with her.”

Botti has been close on numerous occasions to breaking his British Group 1 duck, perhaps most notably during last year’s Al Shaqab Lockinge Stakes when Euro Charline was pipped by Roger Varian’s Belardo.

Other trainers may attempt to play down its significance, but the former assistant to Luca Cumani is well aware what a victory of this type could do for his career.

“We have been unlucky a few times over the years,” added Botti.

“We have got so close but we are still waiting and that is a little frustrating.

“When you are training in England, the priority is to win a Group 1 race here.

“We have been really lucky to win in places like the USA and France, but getting a Group 1 in England looks great on the CV — it would be a huge achievement.”

The original plan had been for Andrea Atzeni to partner Aljazzi after the pair combined to win the Group 3 BetBright Casino Atalanta Stakes at Sandown in early September.

Yet, Atzeni has since been booked to ride elsewhere, with Adam Kirby stepping into the breach.

“We have no concerns with Adam. He has ridden her before and we are pleased to have secured him,” said Botti.