• Friday, 12 May, 2023,
  • by Peter Quilty

‘Ti amo’ Umberto!

Umberto – named after Italian pop and rock singer and composer Umberto Tozzi – is proving ‘music to the ears’ of champion trainer Jason Thompson.

One of Tozzi’s biggest international hits is “Ti amo” – English translation “I love you”.

Ironically, there’s a lot to love about Umberto’s racing development.

Umberto (Jul ’21 Bernardo x Triscay) has only started on 12 occasions for five wins, three seconds and three thirds, with $28,995 in prizemoney.

He also finished fourth in the G3 GRV VicBred Maiden final on Australian Cup night in late February.

Umberto is raced by the “Lightning” syndicate – a ‘cross-code’ compilation including Thompson and wife Seona – along with their children Holly, Luke and Ben, a Group 1-winning jockey based in Queensland.

“To be a good dog, you need to have early speed – and he’s got that!”

The ownership group also comprises Ben’s wife Stephanie Thornton, also a top ‘hoop’, and her dad Glenn, who is a horse trainer – plus star jockey Danny Beasley and his dad Rob, and Singapore-based horse trainer Daniel Meagher.

Expert form analysts are spruiking Umberto as a potential champion – a star of the future.

But Thompson is not quite as effusive, mindful that ‘potential’ can be a nebulous term.

However, he says “I’ve always had a wrap on him”.

“To be a good dog, you need to have early speed – and he’s got that!

“He’s only a young dog, but he’s very promising. He’s starting to put it together; I’ve got a big opinion of him.”

Thompson added that the early promise Umberto showed in trials has started to come through.

“A few months ago, he wasn’t totally ‘wound up’. But now the penny has started to drop with him.”

Umberto (Box 8) contests a Grade Five (525m) – Race 3, 7.08pm – at The Meadows on Saturday night. He’s $2.90 second elect, behind Shima Shadow ($2.30), on Sportsbet.

“He just needs to jump,” Thompson said. “And he’s shown he’s capable of that, so he’s not too disadvantaged out wide.

“If he runs well on Saturday night, he’ll probably go up to Tony Brett in Brisbane for the (G2) Flying Amy Classic series.”

It’s worth noting Umberto has previously had the ‘pink’ alley on three occasions for two wins and one third placing. In fact, his personal best at The Meadows (29.97sec) is from box eight.

At his most recent start – Sandown Park (515m) on May 4 – Umberto clocked a slick 29.28sec (Best).

Umberto boasts brilliant bloodlines – highlighted by his maternal granddam, Dasha, which produced Get It Gizmo (2019 G1 Topgun winner).

Get It Gizmo was also a finalist in the G1 Melbourne Cup and G1 Maturity Classic in the same year.

WATCH: ‘Love’ the win of UMBERTO (B1), which clocked 29.28sec (Best) at Sandown Park on May 4.

Peter QuiltyPeter Quilty

Peter Quilty

Peter Quilty has more than three decades of experience as assistant editor of Victorian Greyhound Weekly. He was editor of GRV monthly magazine The Adviser (2001-09) and owner/publisher of Australian Greyhound Monthly. He also served on the selection panel for the inaugural GRV ‘Hall of Fame’ inductees and for several years was an adjudicator on the Victorian GOTY. He’s also published greyhound racing yearbooks and wrote the ‘Bold Trease’ video script.

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