German-trained Sortilege halted the 2012 unbeaten steak of Cherry Collect Oct. 28, holding back the dual Italian classic winner to win the Premio Lydia Tesio Longines (Ity-I) at Capanelle Racecourse in Rome.
Jockey Andrea Atzeni enjoyed his first group I win as Sortilege overhauled front-runner Sajjhaa inside the final furlong and crossed the finish line a comfortable length in front of Cherry Collect, who rallied from near the back of the field to take second.
Sortilege, a 4-year-old Tiger Hill filly, was timed in 2:07.70 for the 1 1/4-mile (2,000-meter) race on heavy turf.
Cherry Collect, the 5-to-2 favorite, entered perfect in four starts this season, including back-to-back wins in the Premio Regina Elena (Ity-I), or Italian One Thousand Guineas in April, and Oaks d’Italia (Ity-I) in May. She finished another length in front of third-place Nova Hawk, a recent group III winner in Italy who was second to Immortal Verse last year at Royal Ascot in the Coronation Stakes (Eng-I).
Trained by Andreas Wohler, Sortilege came into the Lydia Tesio off a three-quarter-length win in the listed Grand Prix de la Region Alsace Sept. 15 at Strasbourg. She competed against some of Europe’s elite females Aug. 19 at Deauville in the Prix Jean Romanet (Fr-1), in which she finished unplaced behind winner Snow Fairy. Prior to that, she finished third to No Risk At All and Meandre in the La Coupe (Fr-III) in June at Longchamp.
Campaigned last year as a homebred of Alain and Gerard Wertheimer, Sortilege has two wins, a second, and two thirds from six starts this year for Wohler and owner Gestut Karlshof.
Bred in Ireland, Sortilege is out of the winning Monsun mare Sahel, a full sister to three German classic winners: 2000 BMW 131 Deutsches Derby (Ger-I, German Derby) and leading German sire Samum, 2002 Osterman Preis der Diana-Deutches Stuten (Ger-1, German Oaks) winner and group stakes producer Salve Regina, and 2006 Deutsches Derby winner Schiaparelli.
Sire Tiger Hill, a two-time German champion, was euthanized at age 17 Sept. 27 after fracturing a leg in his paddock at Gestut Fahrhof in Germany.