The 5-year-old gray gelding has risen to the top of the European sprint division, winning three of four starts this season. Two of the victories have been in group I company, with his most recent outing prior to this being a win in the Darley July Cup (Eng-I) at Newmarket.
Sent off as the heavy favorite, Marchand D’Or was held up at the rear of the 16-horse field by regular rider Davy Bonilla. The pair quickly found themselves behind a wall of horses, and they were forced to wait for a hole to appear.
Finally, within the final furlong, a gap did appear, and Marchand D’Or unleashed an electrifying turn of foot to quickly take command. The son of Marchand de Sable powered away to win by three-quarters of a length over African Rose.
Belliflore got up for third, 2 1/2-lengths further back. The final time for the six furlongs was 1:18.40 over a soft turf course.
Delighted trainer Freddie Head told England’s Press Association after the race, “It is great he is now in the record books, as he is a real champion.”
Marchand D’Or will now be pointed to the Betfred Sprint Cup (Eng-I) Sept. 6. His long-range goal is the Qatar Prix de l’Abbaye de Longchamp (Fr-I) Oct. 5.
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