Racing: Fort fends off rivals

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THE Grand Prix de Paris, the last important race run at Longchamp until the autumn, fell to Andre Fabre for the fourth time in five years yesterday when Fort Wood, one of his three runners, gained victory by a nose over Bigstone.

The two British challengers, Emperor Jones and Newton's Law, finished fifth and last of nine respectively but their trainers, John Gosden and Peter Chapple-Hyam, produced a plethora of excuses afterwards. 'He ran well but the ground was firm and not entirely suitable,' Gosden said of Emperor Jones. 'Also he's only just come from a run at Ascot 11 days ago.'

Emperor Jones had at least got his head in front a furlong from home before weakening and, as he ran in the same Sheikh Mohammed colours as the 11-2 winner, was linked with that horse for betting purposes.

For Chapple-Hyam there was no such consolation. 'The race was run at no sort of pace, and Newton's Law needs a fast pace,' the Manton trainer asserted, despite the fact that the winner set a new track record for the 10-furlong trip.

In the Prix Hubert de Chaudenay, there was further disappointment for Gosden and Emperor Jones's rider, Ray Cochrane, when Silverdale finished fourth of the six runners to Epaphos. Infrasonic, who had won the Queen's Vase at Royal Ascot, was a one-paced second.