Sottsass could finish only fourth as Shaman made every yard of the running to lift the Prix d’Harcourt at ParisLongchamp.
All eyes were on the Jean-Claude Rouget-trained Sottsass after a 2019 campaign that saw him win the French Derby and finish third to Waldgeist and Enable in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe.
However, he never looked like troubling winner Shaman, who benefited from a fine front-running ride by Maxime Guyon.
The Carlos Laffon-Parias-trained winner was no slouch himself last term, beating Sottsass in the Prix La Force before finishing second in the French 2000 Guineas and also the Prix Jacques le Marois.
Trying 10 furlongs for the first time, he bounced back to his best in this Group Two event, kicking on in the straight to repel the late challenge of Way To Paris, with Simona only narrowly beaten in third.
Connections now hope to land a Group One with the son of Shamardal.
Pierre-Yves Bureau, racing manager to the Wertheimer brothers, said: “We were very pleased. Carlos had been telling me he wanted to try him at 10 furlongs. He won a nine-furlong Group Three at Longchamp last season and had done very well at a mile, being Group One placed.
“It was a serious test today with Sottsass and some good horses, but when Shaman is like that, galloping like that – he likes to be like that. He needs to be relaxed in a race.
“He’s a very good horse, he’s well bred and now he needs to win the Group One!”
Assessing options at that level in the near future, Bureau said: “He has the potential for such a big race. We will talk with Carlos and see what he thinks. I think the d’Ispahan is in July this year and might be a very good race for him, but there is the Ganay as well.
“We don’t know what will happen with the foreign races as well, so that is a big question for later on, but today is a Group Two win.
“I think the Ganay is in a month’s time, we will see with Carlos how the horse comes out of the race, but I would be very happy for him to win a Group One because I think he deserves it.
“I think they are the two options for him at the moment and they are at home. The aim is to win a Group One, for sure.”