Champion Stakes winner is no match for Wall’s First Sitting

FRENCH WIN: First Sitting - pictured out in front at Newmarket last year - won for Chris Wall in France this week
FRENCH WIN: First Sitting - pictured out in front at Newmarket last year - won for Chris Wall in France this week

For the second time this year, Chris Wall was left to celebrate a victory over one of Jean-Claude Rouget’s stable stars.

After winning last October’s Qipco Champion Stakes at Ascot in impressive fashion, Rouget’s Almanzor made his first appearance of the season at Deauville on Tuesday.

But the four-year-old finished down the field in the 10-furlong Gontaut-biron Group 3 Stakes, with the win instead going the way of Wall’s First Sitting.

It was a similar story in May when Wall watched on as Mix And Mingle landed him the Betfred ‘Supports Jack Berry House’ Chartwell Fillies’ Stakes at Lingfield ahead of Rouge’s Coronation Stakes champion Qemah.

“It is nice to win Group races and when they come up against horses of Jean-Claude’s quality, it is even better,” said Wall following First Sitting’s triumph.

“We may have won bigger races in the past, but they are in the past and it is all about the here and now.

“Racing is much more competitive these days so you have to cherish wins like this one.

“It goes to show that given the right materials, we can produce good results at this level.”

The plan for First Sitting had been to send him to Istanbul in September, but the recent success has sparked a rethink from his Induna Stables trainer.

“It could not have gone any better in France,” added Wall.

“He is probably in the best form since we have had him.

“Taking on Almanzor, we knew if he was at his best we would be fighting for second, but he wasn’t and we capitalised.

“The option had been to go to Turkey, but now with this win, we might look at something over the Arc weekend.”

Also victorious on the same card was the Martyn Meade-trained Eminent, who made all to win the Prix Guillaume d’Ornano Haras du Logis Saint-Germain under Ryan Moore.

The Frankel colt dominated from the off and is now a 14/1 shot with the bookmakers for the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe.

Asked by At The Races if the Arc was a legitimate option, Meade said: “He could do. We can all dream, can’t we? I do think he’d like that distance (mile and a half). I know him so well now, so it just depends how he is at home.”