Emirates Airline Champion Stakes 2007  

2006 result



Literato Thrills in Emirates Airline Champion Stakes

1st 11 Literato 7/2 2F
2nd 10 Eagle Mountain 5/1
3rd 2 Doctor Dino 12/1

Just like Pascal Bary a fortnight ago, French trainer Jean-Claude Rouget’s first win in England was at the highest level, thanks to Literato’s thrilling short-head victory over Eagle Mountain in the Emirates Airline Champion Stakes.

Rouget, who had previously worked in England for Ian Balding and Paul Cole, said: “ He has the biggest heart, he’s a courageous horse. You will see physically he’s a little thing but he’s a big mover.

“I thought today would be very tough for him as he’s never met the older horses and he’s never run on a straight course. We were confident more for a place than a win.”

Asked whether the three-year-old colt would remain in training next season, he said: “We’ll discuss that.

“I’d like him to but when you have a campaign like this sometimes it’s hard to do another one. We’ll see, we can’t say today.”

Literato’s owner, Herve Morin, who is the French Minister of Defence, said: “He’s a very courageous horse and he likes a battle.

“We would have liked to run him in the Arc de Triomphe but Jean-Cluade said ‘no, we will win the Champion Stakes’.”

The French have an excellent record in the Emirates Airline Champion Stakes, with this being their 21st win since 1945.

Christophe Lemaire, the jockey, was winning his second successive Emirates Airline Champion Stakes, having succeeded on Pride last year.

He said: “It was a great race. Literato travelled very well. My horse is a fighter and Johnny’s (Murtagh) horse was very tough.

“I thought I was going to win but my horse had to give his best to prevail. He is a really great horse.”



Connections of Eagle Mountain were delighted with their charge as he found only Literato a short-head too powerful in the Emirates Airline Champion Stakes on what could be his last run for owners Derrick Smith, Sue Magnier and Michael Tabor.

The runner-up’s trainer Aidan O’Brien said: “Eagle Mountain ran a stormer and has improved for the break [since winning the Group 2 Royal Whip Stakes at the Curragh 69 days’ ago]. That was his first run back and I would imagine that there will be more improvement.

“He stays in training, but I think that he might be leaving us - you’ll have to confirm that - and that Mike De Kock has bought him.”

The Irish champion trainer has a busy week ahead with the Breeders’ Cup approaching.

“George Washington is fine so far and all my team are fine so far,” he added. “Achill Island runs in the Juvenile Turf and my horses arrive in the States on Tuesday, while I arrive on Wednesday.”

Richard Gibson, trainer of third-placed Doctor Dino, a further three lengths away, said: “The horse ran a great race and congratulations to the two horses in front of him.

“There are no excuses and I’m not prepared to make any. It was another solid performance and he’ll be off to Hong Kong with a bit of luck. We’ll see about which race.”

Should Eagle Mountain have prevailed, he would have been the sixth Irish-trained horse to taste success in the Emirates Airline Champion Stakes since 1945, and the first since 1973.

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