11/08/2010 11:58AM

Dettori wins aboard Rio de la Plata in Italy


Red-eyed after his victory aboard Dangerous Midge in Saturday’s Breeders’ Cup Turf, Frankie Dettori arrived in Rome on Sunday just in time to pilot Rio de la Plata to victory in the Group 1, $337,000 Premio Roma at the Capannelle. The win was Dettori’s 100th Group 1 or Grade 1 victory for Godolphin, his first having come aboard Balanchine in the 1994 English Oaks.

Rio de la Plata has been a reclamation project for his trainer Saeed bin Suroor. The winner of the Group 1 Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere as a 2-year-old, Rio de la Plata was 0 for 6 at 3 and 4 before finally rebounding this season with five victories, the most recent of them the one-mile, Group 1 Premio Vittorio di Capua at San Siro in Milan. On Sunday he ran down the clear leader, 3.55-1 second choice and defending champ Voila Ici, just inside the eighth pole to prevail by 2 1/2 lengths, traveling the 1 1/4 miles in 2:02.70 on soft ground.

Sent off as the 1.66-1 favorite as part of a coupled entry with eventual 11th-place finisher Flying Cloud, Rio de la Plata was winning for the first time beyond a mile. He is now under consideration for the 1 1/4-mile Hong Kong Cup at Sha Tin on Dec. 12.