News

SIRIGU LIKES EURO CHALLENGE

Photo: Dubai Racing Club // Mathea Kelley

Anyone who watched Marco Botti’s Euro Charline storm to victory in the Group 1 Beverly D. Stakes at Arlington last summer would never guess that she is actually quite a prickly lady when it comes to exercising in the morning.

However, the obviously talented four-year-old filly has a number of quirks that prompted the Newmarket trainer to fly out Italian jockey Paolo Sirigu to make sure her preparation in view of her start in the Group 1 Dubai Turf, sponsored by DP World, on Saturday would go without a glitch.

Paolo Sirigu has been riding for his fellow countryman for the past two years and actually rode Euro Charline on her first start at Wolverhampton, when she won by an impressive three lengths.

A native of Sardinia, Paolo Sirigu was not born into a racing family as such, even though Andrea Atzeni, who has ridden Euro Charline on more than one occasion, is his second cousin.

Yet, lightly built, there was never any question in his mind when it came to choosing a career and after a successful campaign as an apprentice, he decided to follow in the footsteps of Frankie Dettori and moved to England.

His association with Euro Charline, though, was a bit of a happy coincidence.

“When she came to us as a two-year-old, no one wanted to ride her,” Sirigu laughed. “She was really quite tricky, because she didn’t like it when you tried to put a bridle on her.

“Sometimes it would take more than half an hour before we managed to get a bridle on her.”

At the beginning of her career, the daughter of Myboycharlie and Eurolink Artemis could be seen sporting a hackamore bridle, which is commonly used on show jumpers rather than race horses.

However, it seemed to do the trick. “When she did the stall test in Newmarket, she passed it without any problems”, continued 30-year-old Sirigu.

“And in her first race, when I actually rode her, she went in and came out easily and won by several lengths.”

Owned by Team Valor International, Euro Charline has no problem wearing a normal bridle any more, but she can still be difficult in the morning.

“Yes,” concludes Sirigu. “In a race, Euro Charline is absolutely fine and can be ridden by any good rider, but in the morning, she can still be a bit tricky, so I have come out here, as I know her like the back of my hand.

“You can’t really fight with her and I know that, so she is fine with me. You just have to be a bit careful.”

On Saturday, she will be partnered by Hong Kong-based Brazilian jockey Joao Moreira.