Wall happy to play party pooper as First Sitting causes Deauville upset
Chris Wall had jokingly claimed he was out to singe Jean-Claude Rouget’s beard in his own backyard with First Sitting but had a deadly serious demeanour and plenty of pride as he welcomed the six-year-old and Gerald Mosse back into a hushed winner’s enclosure after their shock defeat of Almanzor in the Prix Gontaut-Biron.
“They will talk a lot about Almanzor and not a lot about us but that’s fine,” said Wall, whose most recent Group win in France had come 21 years ago when Donna Viola landed the Prix de l’Opera.
The Newmarket trainer had already accounted for one of Rouget’s stable stars when Mix And Mingle defeated Qemah at Lingfield in May and relished the chance of a repeat upset away from home.
As for First Sitting, two previous attempts in France had yielded a second place to Arthenus in a Saint-Cloud Listed race last September and, most recently, third in the Group 3 La Coupe at Chantilly in June.
On that occasion Garlingari had finished in front of First Sitting when chasing home Robin Of Navan but the gelded son of Dansili turned the form round here, holding off Corine Barande-Barbe’s runner by three-quarters of a length.
“His last two visits to France have been on quite fast ground which has not really been his bag,” said Wall. “But on better ground here today he has been able to show what he can really do. He has been training well at home so I thought he would come here and run well.
“He has done it very well and Gerald has given him a top-class ride again, nicking it from the front a bit. When he poaches that lead and gets rolling he is a hard horse to get past. I have to thank Colin Voysey, who recommended the horse and I will now put him in the Prix Dollar on Arc weekend.”
Wall celebrated a treble at Yarmouth last week and, on recent evidence, the sea air certainly seems to agree with him and his horses.