09/29/2007 12:00AM

Ramonti holds on in QE II

EmailRamonti looks to have sealed champion miler honors in Europe with a gutsy win in Saturday's Group 1 Queen Elizabeth II Stakes at Ascot.

Benefitting from a tactically aware ride from Frankie Dettori, the Godolphin-owned Ramonti defeated Excellent Art, the 9-5 favorite, by a half-length.

Dettori sat in second on the 5-1 winner, as Excellent Art's Aidan O'Brien-trained stablemate Duke of Marmalade set a good pace. When Dettori asked his mount to quicken in the straight, Ramonti took up the running 1 1/2 furlongs out and responded well.

It was not an ideal day to be off the pace, as two days of wet weather had turned the ground soft and testing, yet Jamie Spencer had Excellent Art in last place entering the straight.

As Ramonti appeared unlikely to falter up front, this left no margin for error for Excellent Art, and being short of room in the stretch made his task more difficult. He ran on gamely but it was definitely Ramonti's day.

Duke of Marmalade kept on to take third, with Cesare fourth.

The French filly Darjina, the second betting choice, never threatened and trailed in last of the seven runners.

No immediate plans were forthcoming for Ramonti, whose connections were keen to stress that he had had a long and demanding season. After three Group 1 wins this season, what more does he have to prove?

* Although unsuccessful in the QE II, O'Brien will return home with a Group 1 trophy as Listen stayed on well at 3-1 to win the Group 1 Fillies Mile.

Listen led with 1 1/2 furlongs remaining, ahead of Saorise Abu, herself seeking a third Group 1 win of the season. Proviso, the 11-10 favorite, tried to close but Listen held her off in the final stages.

Listen finished a length ahead of Proviso, with Saorise Abu 2 1/2 lengths farther back in third.

This race has had some illustrious past winners, and all three of these fillies should do well next year, with Listen looking like a true Epsom Oaks candidate, and Proviso a speedy Guineas type.