11/05/2010 2:34PM

Rio de la Plata heads Primio Roma


A revivified Rio de la Plata seeks his second straight Italian Group 1 title at the Capannelle in Rome on Sunday in the 1 1/4-mile, $422,000 Premio Roma. Frankie Dettori, flying directly from his Breeders’ Cup assignments at Churchill Downs, will ride the Rahy 5-year-old, who is coming off a victory in the one-mile, Group 1 Premio Vittorio di Capua in Milan.

One of the best European 2-year-olds in 2007 when he won the Group 1 Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere, the Godolphin-owned Rio de la Plata was 0 for 6 at ages 3 and 4 but has recaptured his best form this year with 4 wins in his last 6 starts. He has also won the 1 1/8-mile, Group 3 Strensall Stakes at York and was a head second to Fuisse in the one-mile, Group 1 Prix du Moulin de Longchamp before his Vittorio di Capua score.

But he failed in a Haydock Group 3 in his only try at 10 furlongs in August and may be vulnerable to the best of the Italians, Voila Ici. A daughter of Daylami trained by Vittorio Caruso, Voila Ici won last year’s Premio Roma and prepped with a victory in the 1 3/8-mile, Group 3 Premio Federico Tesio by 1 1/4 lengths from Cima de Triomphe, who tries her again on Sunday after a pair of unplaced efforts.

Two others with a chance are Jakkalberry, the Alessandro Botti-trained winner of the 1 1/2-mile, Group 1 Gran Premio di Milano, and British invader Clowance, the recent winner of Newbury’s 1 1/2-mile, Group 3 St Simon Stakes

In the $219,000, Group 2 Premio Ribot at a mile, the Caruso-trained Worthadd, the winner of both the Italian 2000 Guineas and the Italian Derby who was recently third to Rio de la Plata in the Vittorio di Capua, can take the measure of his elders.