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Channel holds on to win French Oaks

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Paris (AFP)

Channel scrambled home in a tight finish to Sunday's French Oaks at Chantilly to supply trainer Francis Graffard and jockey Pierre-Charles Boudot with their first classic success.

Less than a length covered the first four in a Prix de Diane which failed to see the coronation of the Aga Khan-owned Siyarafina.

Christophe Soumillon's mount was sent off 6-4 favourite but had to settle for sixth after starting from an awkward outside draw.

Another out of luck was Japan's contender Amarena, who finished 15th of 16 under Yutaka Take.

Channel is a progressive filly, this landmark win coming in only her fourth outing.

"When she accelerated in the straight I thought she could do it," said Graffard of his new stable star who cost "only 70,000 euros at the Deauville Sales".

In second, beaten a head, was Commes, with 52-year-old veteran jockey Gerald Mosse on board third-placed Grand Glory, half a length away.

Channel does not hold an entry in the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe, with Graffard saying the end-of-season showpiece at Longchamp was something he would be discussing with the owners.

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