Dettori rides Royal Ascot hope in Derby Italiano
Preview: Italy, Sunday 4.35pm BST
Capannelle: 129th Derby Italiano Better (Group 2) 1m3f, turf, 3yo colts & fillies.
FRANKIE DETTORI returns to Italy on Sunday to partner the unbeaten Real Solution (Gianluca Bietolini), the Royal Ascot entry who is set to start hot favourite for the Derby Italiano in Rome.
Dettori, who has four rides on the card, has won the Derby Italiano twice before, on the Godolphin-owned pair Mukhalif in 1999 and Mastery in 2009.
Unbeaten in three starts, Real Solution has won histwo races this year by an aggregate of 12 lengths and is likely to start at odds-on to claim the winner's portion of the €550,000 prize fund.
He carries the colours of anglophile US owner Ken Ramsey, who has reportedly turned down offers of $2 million for the Kitten's Joy colt, who is being aimed at the King Edward VII Stakes.
"Real Solution is uncomplicated - he usually sits just behind the pace before using his brilliant acceleration,"explained trainer Gianluca Bietolini. "I am pleased to have Frankie riding - the owners booked him."
Real Solution had Teixidor (Ottavio di Paolo/Salvatore Sulas), Vola E Va (Bruno Grizzetti/Dario Vargu) and Wild Wolf (Stefano Botti/Umberto Rispoli) filling the next three places when romping to a five-length success in the Listed Premio Botticelli, a traditional Derby trial run last month over all but a half-furlong of this course and distance.
British jockey Robert Havlin has been booting home the winners in mainland Europe is recent months, with winners inGermany, Slovakia and Switzerland.
He teams up with German-trained Feuerblitz (Michael Figge), who beat all bar the highly rated Black Arrow in a recent Listed contest at Hanover and holds realistic hopes of being in the mix for a share of the prize-money.
Sopran Montieri (Bruno Grizzetti/Mirco Demuro) has won both his starts, a maiden race and a conditions event, and is ahalf-brother to the 2008 Derby Italiano winner Cima De Triomphe who went on to be trained by Luca Cumani.
Demuro said: "When I won on him last time out, the way he finished in the final 200 metres felt like a proper horse, one perfectly entitled to be in the Derby."
Giuseppe Botti won this year's Premio Parioli (Italian 2,000 Guineas) with Malossol, a graduate from his French satellite yard, and December's Deauville winner Herrbuga (Thomas Huet) hails from the same academy and connections expect him to leave behind this year's form which has been achieved on unsuitably testing ground.
Also on Sunday
Capannelle: Premio Carlo d'Alessio (Group 3) 1m4f, turf, 4yo+ (2.40pm BST).
Dettori partners Frankenstein (Bruno Grizzetti) in the quest to land this €61,600 prize but this is a very competitive heat, with Branderburgo (Maurizio Grassi/Carlo Fiocchi), Cima De Pluie (Bruno Grizzetti/Dario Vargiu) and Lord Chaparral (Roberto Brogi/Umberto Rispoli) all capable of success in this grade.
The progressive Listed winner Pattaya (Stefano Botti/Fabio Branca) is expected to relish this extra furlong and a half as he bids to make it eight wins from 17 career starts.
Capannelle: Premio Tudoni (Group 3) 6f,turf, 3yo+ (5.10pm BST).
Dettori partners former Richard Hannon-trained Moustache (Devis Grilli), who reverts to sprinting after finishing fourth in the Premio Parioli (Italian 2,000 Guineas) and second in the Premio Pisa.
Rivals for this €61,600 prize include Amico Fritz (Henri-Alex Pantall/Fabrice Veron), a close sixth to Society Rock in the Golden Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot last year.
Capannelle: Premio Its Ex Tullio Righetti (Listed) 1m, turf, 3yo, 4.15pm BST.
Dettori also teams up with owners Ken and Sarah Ramsey here on Real Solution's work companion Roma Kitten (Gianluca Bietolini).
Capannelle: Fegentri WCR Lady Rider - Premio Wind 1m 110yds, turf, 4yo+ (2.05pm BST)
British and Irish amateurs Hayley Moore (Mister Red Shine) and Lisa O'Neill (Gabby's Brother) take on eight other female riders, including locally-based Jessica Marcialis (Wakeman) who currently leads the Fegentri lady riders competition, which takes in a number of races across the world throughout the year.