Almanzor disappointed as British challenger
First Sitting claimed a surprise victory in the Prix Gontaut-Biron at Deauville. The
Jean-Claude Rouget-trained Almanzor won five of his six starts last season,
including top-level victories in the French Derby at Chantilly, the Irish
Champion Stakes at Leopardstown and the Champion Stakes at Ascot.
His reappearance this term had been delayed, with this his first competitive
appearance in 304 days, but he was unsurprisingly a warm order to dispatch of
five rivals at Group Three level.
Almanzor's pacemaker, Zafiro, did his job for much of the 10-furlong contest, taking the field along while Christophe Soumillon positioned the hot favourite in fifth until early in the straight. Rouget's charge initially looked to be travelling strongly, but when push came to shove, the response was minimal and he was ultimately well-beaten. First Sitting, a Listed winner for trainer Chris Wall at Goodwood back in May and most recently third in a Group Three at Chantilly, tracked Zafiro before committing for home soon after the turn. Garlingari finished strongly, but First Sitting held him at bay in the hands of Gerald Mosse.
Enable is now a best price of 15-8 for the
Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe as Bookmakers react.