x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Rio De La Plata short in Rome

Rio De La Plata just failed to win the Group 1 Premio Roma for a second successive year; Emerald Commander is caught by Vanjura in a Group 2 Premio Roma race; Alpha runs out of gas in the Breeders' Cup juvenile at Churchill Downs.

Rio De La Plata just failed to win the Group 1 Premio Roma for a second successive year, going down by a short-head at Capannelle Racecourse on Sunday.

Frankie Dettori held up the Godolphin six year old in second last place of the nine runners in the Italian 10-furlong event.

Rio De La Plata, who was third to Frankel in the Group 1 Sussex Stakes at Goodwood in England in July, was asked to go after the leaders at the quarter-mile marker and ran on strongly in the final furlong but could not quite get by Zazou and finished second.

Saeed bin Suroor, his trainer, said: "Rio De La Plata ran well - it was very close at the line and he looked unlucky not to win."

Emerald Commander also ran well at the same meeting to finish second to Vanjura in the Group 2 Premio Ribot over a mile.

The four year old, also trained by bin Suroor, went into the lead under Dettori before the end of the first furlong. He was challenged by Vanjura with a quarter of a mile left and was caught just over a furlong out.

Bin Suroor said: "Emerald Commander tried hard but was beaten by a better horse."

Godolphin's Alpha ran out of steam in the Grey Goose Breeders' Cup Juvenile at Churchill Downs, Kentucky, on Saturday.

The two year old started to drop back and was second last entering the straight where he was eased down. Garrett Gomez, his jockey, said: "He went super into the first turn but halfway up the back straight he was going no good."

In other events, Mike Smith pulled off an emotional success as Drosselmeyer, trained by Bill Mott, who won the inaugural Dubai World Cup with Cigar, claimed the Breeders' Cup Classic.