06/17/2006 11:00PM

Soumillon big winner at San Siro

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Christophe Soumillon was the big winner at San Siro in Milan on Sunday as he guided Dionisia and Shamdala to victory in a pair of valuable Group 1 stakes.

The French-based Belgian rider guided the 4.74-1 Dionisia to victory in the $745,000 Oaks d'Italia. It was easy pickings for the Kentucky-bred daughter of Tejano Run, who cruised home by six lengths over the unfancied Twardowska, getting the 1 3/8 miles in 2:14.50 on firm ground. The winner is being considered by trainer Riccardo Menichetti for the American Oaks ay Hollywood Park on July 2, but with only two weeks between this Oaks and the American version, a trip to Los Angeles may come too soon for her.

Rising Cross, six lengths second to Alexandrova in the English Oaks on June 2, did little running in her first start for Gary Tanaka. The early trailer in a field of 15, she improved little in coming home eighth, 14 lengths behind Dionisia.

Soumillon had had an earlier success aboard Shamdala. As the only distaffer in the field, she had little trouble asserting her authority in $500,000 Group 1 Gran Premio di Milano with a 1-1/4-length victory over the pacesetting Groom Tesse. Sent off as the 44-100 choice, the Aga Khan's homebred 4-year-old daughter of Grand Lodge covered the 1 1/2 miles in 2:27.80. Trained in France by Alain de Royer-Dupre, Shamdala was coming off a Group 2 victory at Lonchamp in the 1 15/16-mile Prix Vicomtesse Vigier. Vol de Nuit, who had finished three quarters of a lengths second to Electrocutionist in this race last year, was third, 2-3/4 lengths behind the winner.