Godolphin at the double
Godolphin scored a Group 1 double in Italy yesterday with Rio De La Plata and Biondetti giving the boys in blue good reason to celebrate at Milan's San Siro racecourse.
Rio De La Plata registered the second Group 1 success of his career in the Premio Vittorio di Capua over a mile while Biondetti maintained his unbeaten record with a comfortable success in Italy's leading juvenile contest, the Group 1 Gran Criterium, again over a mile.
Rio De La Plata broke well and was soon settled in seventh on the inside of the 11-strong field by Frankie Dettori. He started to make smooth headway entering the straight and disputed fourth passing the three-furlong marker. The five-year-old son of Rahy ran on to take the lead with a furlong and a half left and kept up his work inside the distance to fend off the challenge of Vanjura and win a short neck.
Saeed bin Suroor, his trainer, said: "Rio De La Plata ran a huge race today and I am delighted that he has won another Group 1. "He was always travelling well and Frankie had him in a nice position throughout the race. "I was a little concerned about the ground today but it rode like good to soft and he finished his race well. There are no plans for him at the moment but we will have to look at winning another Group 1 race with him now."
Biondetti, ridden by Ahmed Ajtebi, settled in fifth after the first furlong and moved up to fourth with half a mile to race but was relegated to sixth as the pace quickened entering the straight. The two-year-old Bernardini colt was asked for more effort and responded well, running on to take second passing the two-furlong marker and hitting the front entering the final furlong. Singapore Lilly briefly threatened in the closing stages, but the Godolphin runner found plenty under pressure to score by half a length.
Mahmood al Zarooni, the winning trainer said: "Biondetti ran a very good race today and he won quite nicely in the end - Ahmed didn't have to be too hard on him. "He was still a bit green but he has improved with every appearance. I don't know if he will run again this year. We will see how he comes out of this race and then discuss any further plans. "He will be given an entry in the Breeders' Cup but I will have to speak with Sheikh Mohammed [bin Rashid, the Vice President of th UAE and Ruler of Dubai] before finalising any decision.
"Vale Of York was second in this race 12 months ago before going on to victory in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile but I think that it might have been a stronger renewal of the Gran Criterium last year." Royal Revival, trained by bin Suroor, was another scorer for Godolphin in the Listed Prix le Fabuleux at Maisons-Laffitte in France. Ridden by Mickael Barzalona, Royal Revival ran on strongly to lead approaching final half-furlong and won by a length
The Dubai-based racing operation have Double Dealer and and Mutual Force, both trained by al Zarooni, running in the EBF Goodwood Racehorse Owners' Group Nursery Handicap Stakes over seven furlongs at Goodwood, England, today.
Updated: October 10, 2010 04:00 AM