Frankie Dettori fulfilled a long-standing ambition by winning the Italian 2000 Guineas on Vero Atleta during his final season as a jockey.
Although Dettori had previously won the fillies’ equivalent in 1997, the Premio Regina Elena, and had come second in the Premio Parioli on four occasions, he had never won the latter race until now.
Riding Grizzetti Galoppo’s favourite Vero Atleta, Dettori took advantage of the opportunity presented to him, with the horse having been the champion two-year-old in Italy last season. I
n the Campannelle Group Three race, Dettori encouraged Vero Atleta to step up a gear as they entered the home straight and went on to win by a margin of four and a half lengths.
By winning this race, Dettori emulated his father Gianfranco, who won the Classic twice in 1989 and 1991.
“Finally after 35 years, and being second four times, I have finally done it,” said Dettori.
“I had one last go and I’ve got the full house now and I can retire happy.
“I had the pick of the race and everyone wanted me to ride their horses. I picked the best three-year-old and he won in style, he was great.
“He was the champion two-year-old and we had a lot of rain and a mile was a bit on the short side. He will be a good candidate for the Italian Derby. He won in very good style and it was a great day.
“It was a bit emotional and everyone made a big fuss of me and it is nice to be able to retire and say I have won the 2000, 1000, Derby and the Oaks. It was great to be able to come back to my homeland despite the weather being bad.”
Dettori was also in the saddle on the favourite Aquila Reale in the Premio Regina Elena, but they finished third behind Shavasana, ridden by Cristian Demuro and trained by Stefano Botti.
Now that he has achieved this major win in his home country, Dettori is setting his sights on the first British Classics of the season at Newmarket, where he will be riding leading hope Chaldean in the Qipco 2000 Guineas on Saturday.
“I went to Chaldean at the weekend at Andrew Balding’s and everything was fine,” added Dettori.
“I’m possibly going to ride Lezoo in the 1000 Guineas, she won the Cheveley Park and the season starts now really.
“It’s a shame we’ve had a lot of rain at the moment but we’ve got lots to look forward to.”