Literato wins Champion Stakes

French raider Literato just held Eagle Mountain to land the Emirates Airline Champion Stakes at Newmarket.

French raider Literato just held Eagle Mountain to land the Emirates Airline Champion Stakes at Newmarket.

Jockey Christophe Lemaire, successful on Pride 12 months ago, got the Jean-Claude Rouget-trained colt, a 7-2 chance, home by a short head.

Another French challenger, Doctor Dino, trained by Richard Gibson, was three lengths away in third.

Speciosa made the running, with Mount Nelson and Pinot Noir prominent, and there was little change in the order until three furlongs out where Mullins Bay went on.

Eagle Mountain, trained by Aidan O’Brien, made his bid two furlongs out but he was soon joined by Literato and the pair battled it out in the final furlong.

It was nip and tuck but the French colt, runner-up in the Prix du Jockey-Club, would not be denied.

Lemaire, who also bagged Group One glory at Newmarket recently on Natagora in the Cheveley Park Stakes, told Channel 4 Racing: ``I feel great on this track and have had some nice victories. Today I had Johnny (Murtagh, on Eagle Mountain) alongside me and it was a great race.

“The horse travelled very well all the way. I know that my horse is a fighter - I thought I would win easier but Johnny’s horse was very tough.

“Eagle Mountain is a very tough horse and my horse had to give his best today.”

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