Fabrice Chappet scored a landmark first win in Britain when 11-4 favourite Pizzicato scraped home by a short-head from Deputise in the £150,000 Ladbrokes 3 Year Old All-Weather Championship after looking set to score much more easily when arriving on the scene full of running.
The pair pulled well clear.
Chappet said: “Pizzicato is having a great year and came here in good form, after a good win in a stakes race at Chantilly last time. This was worth a try, and when he got to the front he probably thought the job was done, which is why he won only narrowly.
“He came there looking as if he would win very easily, but the second horse is very tough. Luckily Christophe knows him well and he knows the track.”
Chappet, who won the 2017 French 1,000 Guineas with Precieuse and last year’s Prix Jean Prat with Intellogent, added: “He’s a stakes winner and so has to run in Group races now. He doesn’t have to run on this sort of surface, but when he races on turf he has to have good ground.”
The gelding is owned by Antoine Gilibert, who is the president of Compiegne racecourse and was at Lingfield to enjoy the day with his wife and son, plus five grandchildren.
Christophe Soumillon has ridden two turf winners at Lingfield Park, but this was his first success on the All-Weather at the Surrey venue.
The French-based jockey, who recently captured back-to-back renewals of the Gr1 Dubai World Cup aboard Godolphin’s Thunder Snow, said: “Pizzicato did it well today.
“He travelled into the race well, but when he hits the front, he tends to stop and that is what he did today.
“I was quite lucky that he could hang in and come close to the horse that finished second as that kept him concentrated all the way to the line.
“They went a good pace up front. I was hoping to ride Pizzicato a bit closer, but we did not jump too well from the gate, so I had to ride him further back.
“But in the end, everything worked out very well.”