Sottsass causes upset in French Derby

Sottsass has upset the favourite Persian King to win the Prix du Jockey Club, the French Derby, in record time at Chantilly.

Cristian Demuro brought the Jean-Claude Rouget-trained colt to challenge the overwhelming favourite in the final furlong (200m).

Persian King had every chance to following his victory in the French 2000 Guineas but ran out of stamina in the closing stages.

Sottsass (10-1) came out of the pack to lay down the challenge to Andre Fabre’s Classic winner and asserted in the final 100 metres to score by two lengths, giving Rouget a fourth French Derby triumph.

Sottsass has been quoted at 16-1 for the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe with Betfair.

“He’s a special horse. He did a good job the last 200 metres and had good acceleration. He was a bit excited before the race, but was calm behind the gates and he ran a very good race,” Demuro told Sky Sports Racing.

“The race went perfect for me because on the last corner I sat behind Persian King and the last two furlongs I asked him to go out and to accelerate. He had a good turn of foot and the distance was perfect.

“It’s exciting and amazing to win this kind of race.

“I came from Italy five years ago and I’ve won a lot of Group One races for Monsieur Rouget. Today was special for me.”

Fabre’s fears Persian King might not stay the mile-and-a-quarter (2000m) proved well-founded.

“I come back to my first inclinations and clearly he didn’t stay,” he said.

“He will go back to a mile.”

Fabre had better luck with Godolphin sprinter Inns Of Court in the Prix du Gros-Chene, with a dominant success booking the five-year-old’s ticket to Royal Ascot.

“We knew he had a lot of speed, but what he has accomplished for his first try over 1000 metres (five furlongs) is fantastic,” Lisa-Jane Graffard, French representative for Godolphin, said.

“He is due to run in the Diamond Jubilee at Royal Ascot, but we will discuss with Mr Fabre whether he might consider running him in the King’s Stand Stakes after this performance. All our options are open.”