Big-race double for versatile Champs Elysees
Champs Elysees made his mark over jumps and on the Flat on Saturday when siring feature race winners at both Newcastle and Lingfield.
Trevor Hemmings’ Very First Time (5g Champs Elysees-Like A Virgin by Iron Mask) added to his recent 31-length Hexham victory when making all to win the bet365 Chase at Newcastle on Saturday, eventually prevailing by six lengths.
Brian Hughes was in the saddle on the Tim Easterby-trained five-year-old, who looks set to have a successful season over fences ahead of him.
“Very First Time's improving,” said Hughes. “He only made one error today and that was all my fault. We got the run of the race today, but I was pleased with him and he should come on from this.”
Meanwhile, Lingfield’s Listed Quebec Stakes went the way of Petite Jack (4g Champs Elysees-Pilcomayo, by Rahy) to give Champs Elysees another black-type Flat winner.
Trainer Archie Watson has his sights set on the All-Weather Finals day back at Lingfield on Good Friday.
“All credit to Archie who didn't get Petite Jack that long ago and has carved a Listed success out of the horse,” said winning rider Luke Morris. “All roads lead to finals day now.”