10/08/2001 12:00AM

A little rain can't dampen Dettori's day


PARIS - Jockey Frankie Dettori gave one of his inimitable performances at Longchamp on Saturday, winning three Group 2 races with superbly judged front-running rides.

Dettori's big day began with Moon Queen in the 1 9/16-mile Prix de Royallieu, continued aboard China Visit in the one-mile Prix du Rond-Point, and concluded with Wareed in the 1 7/8-mile Prix Hubert de Chaudenay.

His performance was made all the more dramatic as the day's card was run in a continual downpour, with the ground running considerably softer than the official very soft going.

His victory aboard the 2-1 China Visit in the Rond-Point, in 1:44.80, raised a question about the participation of the runner-up Jim and Tonic in the Breeders' Cup Mile.

Jim and Tonic was last with two furlongs to go and while he got to within a length inside the eighth pole, he could make up no further ground.

"Jim and Tonic is a Group 3 horse on this type of ground, but a Group 1 horse on good ground," said trainer Francois Doumen. "I don't like to make plans immediately after a race, but we will still consider the Breeders' Cup Mile."

As for China Visit, Godolphin racing manager Simon Crisford ruled out the Breeders' Cup Mile, and sounded none too keen about the Hong Kong Mile, in which the ground is sure to be firm.

"China Visit always liked soft ground," Crisford said. "He won on it as a 2-year-old and finally seems to have found himself for the first time since last year's Kentucky Derby."

Moon Queen emerged as a contender for the Breeders' Cup Turf as a result of her Royallieu nose victory over Ranin.