Botti keen to resume and learn more about Malotru

Monday 30 March 2020 13:18, UK

Andrea Atzeni riding Malotru (left)
Image: Andrea Atzeni riding Malotru (left)

Marco Botti is looking forward to learning more about his talented three-year-old Malotru when the European fixture list resumes.

The Casamento colt was a Group Three winner over six furlongs at San Siro for the Italian-born trainer last summer on just his second start, and was not disgraced in a couple of Group Two races - the Gimcrack and the Mill Reef Stakes - on his two subsequent outings.

Malotru got a flying start to his 2020 campaign in a Listed contest at Lingfield at the end of February when stepped up to seven furlongs.

Botti was hoping to give the horse a chance over a mile in the German 2000 Guineas in May - but with racing on hold because of the coronavirus pandemic, he must sit tight.

"He's in good form, and it's a pity he can't race at the moment," said the Newmarket trainer.

"He's come on since he won at Lingfield and he looks in great shape.

"We were thinking of something like the German Guineas (but) obviously now it's all up in the air where we go next."

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Botti suspects Malotru has perhaps already found his ideal distance.

"He got the seven furlongs fine, and that was for us to learn a little bit more whether we could step him up in trip," he added.

"He gets an extra furlong - but that would be it.

"Seven furlongs, I think, would be his optimum trip - but maybe on an easy track, we can stretch it to a mile. That would have been our next step, to find out if he gets a mile or not."

Botti reports it is still business as usual as far as exercising his string, while complying to the present tight restrictions during the coronavirus shutdown of the fixture list.

He said: "If anyone just doesn't feel well, we stop them straightaway - they don't come to work for a couple of weeks.

"All the yards are coping OK at the moment, and we've been able to train the horses as normal - which is good. On top of the frustration without racing, if we have to stop the horses they would get too fresh.

"We are all waiting to find out when we can race again, and hope that will be soon."

Botti has the added worry of his family being in Italy - which has been badly hit by coronavirus.

His father Alduino has been a champion trainer there for more many years, while his brother Stefano is based in Pisa.

"They are all fine and healthy so far," he said.

"It's frustrating when you have parents abroad.

"You can't travel, you can't do anything. But luckily for us, I haven't heard anyone in the family having a problem - which is good. We are lucky so far.

"In Milan, there are restrictions there like over here, but they are still going in to train the horses. There is limited movement as well.

"The north of Italy has been the most affected by the virus. In Pisa, there have been a few cases, but it has not as been bad as in the north of Italy."