Thursday 23 November 2017

Marco Botti: Keeping it in the Family

Marco Botti was born in Italy in 1976, the son of Alduino Botti, who, in partnership with his brother, Giuseppe, has been champion trainer in his native land more than 30 times. After a successful career as a jockey, he worked for his father and uncle as a coach, before emigrating to Britain, where he assisted Luca Cumani, Ed Dunlop and Saeed bin Suroor before setting up on his own at Green Ridge Stables, Newmarket in 2006.

He saddled his first winner, Ceremonial Jade, in a maiden stakes race at Beverley in June that year but, by the end of August, had already chalked up his first Pattern race winner, Sesmen in the Prestige Stakes at Goodwood. Botti made rapid progress through the training ranks and, in 2009, took his career to a new level with the victory of Gitano Hernando in the Goodwood Stakes at Santa Anita Park, California.

Excelebration added another Group 1 win in the Prix de Moulin de Longchamp in 2011, as did Joshua Tree in the Canadian International Stakes at Woodbine, Toronto in 2012. Indeed, 2012 was a notable year for Botti; he saddled Jakalberry to win the American St. Leger at Arlington Park, Chicago for the first time August and, by the end of the season, had trained winners in a season in Britain for the first time.

In early 2013, Botti moved into new premises at Prestige Place, a custom-built, 97-box stable situated on paddocks formerly owned by the Kremlin Stud. Prestige Place was named after the aforementioned Prestige Stakes at Goodwood and, fittingly, the first winner from the new yard, Teophilip, was owned by Giuliano Manfredini, who also owned Ceremonial Jade. Later that year, Botti won the American St. Leger for a second time with Dandino, who went on to finish second in the Caulfield Cup and fifth in the Melbourne Cup at Flemington later in the season, and the Prix Royal-Oak at Longchamp with Tac De Boistron. In fact, 2013 was his best season ever, numerically, with 89 winners.

In 2014, Botti earned over £1.5 million in total prize money for the first time, with victories for Euro Charline in the Beverley D. Stakes at Arlington Park and Tac De Boistron in the Prix Royal-Oak (again) the seasonal highlights. Since then, he has saddled just one winner at the highest level, Capla Temptress in the Natalma Stakes at Woodbine in 2017, but has nonetheless won a succession of Listed and Pattern races, no to mention valuable handicaps, such as the Bunbury Cup at Newmarket and the Old Newton Cup at Haydock.

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