The filly inspiring an Italian-American mini invasion of Chantilly | Topics: Prix de Diane

Grand Glory (Stephane Pasquier) winning at Saint-Cloud in April. She’s “something special”, according to trainer Gianluca Bietolini. Photo: Anne Yesse

They sound like characters out of an Al Pacino movie or ‘The Sopranos’, but the Italian Americans descending on Chantilly this weekend have nothing more sinister than a horse race – “the most important fillies’ race in the world” – on their agenda.

The race is Sunday’s G1 Prix de Diane, the French Oaks, and the hopes of good buddies Albert Frassetto from New Jersey, John D’Amato from Florida and Mike Pietrangelo from Tennessee – plus trainer Gianluca Bietolini, bloodstock agent Marco Bozzi and a large fan club of Italians and Americans – are high indeed.

Their sights have been set on the Diane for the…