By Jon Lees
Italy: Mickaelle Michel has reached another milestone in her flourishing career by riding her first-ever Group winner – beating Frankie Dettori.
Michel, who is based in France, returned to Italy on Sunday where she captured the G3 Premio Carlo D’Alessio on German-trained Walderbe at Rome’s Capannelle racecourse. She had finished second on the same horse in another G3 at San Siro on a previous visit in June.
This time she repelled the challenge of Frankie Dettori on Time Shanakill, hitting the front with two furlongs to run and scoring by two and a quarter lengths on the four-year-old colt trained by Ralf Rohne.
Michel becomes only the second French woman to ride a Group winner. Amelie Foulon won the G3 Grand Prix de Vichy on Elliptique in 2015.
“Mickaelle was delighted to win her first Group race, beating Frankie Dettori, the best jockey in the world,” said the jockey’s agent and partner Frederic Spanu.
“Mickaelle is on fire. She wants to win many big races in the world and she is working hard towards that goal.”
The 24-year-old Michel completed a highly successful spell riding in Japan earlier this year where her 30 wins on the second tier National Association of Racing (NAR) circuit was a record for a foreign jockey on a short-term licence.
A breakthrough at Group level will enhance her long term ambitions of securing a licence to ride the lucrative Japan Racing Association circuit in Japan. She plans to return there at the end of the summer to sit the first part of the JRA jockey’s exam.