Marchand d’Or cut through near darkness to land the rescheduled Prix de l’Abbaye de Longchamp (Fr-I) by 1 1/2-lengths Oct. 5.
Originally scheduled for early afternoon, a false start was declared when Fleeting Spirit’s stall failed to open. Some of the field neglected to notice the signal of the false start and went on to complete the race.
Jockey Davy Bonilla spotted the flag and eased Marchand d’Or up. Hungarian raider Overdose wasn’t as fortunate, charging under the wire first, only to have his victory taken away.
Three horses were withdrawn from the rescheduled Abbaye, which was switched to the last race of the day. One of the non-runners was Overdose, who was scratched by trainer Sandor Ribarszki. Desert Lord and Only Answer were also scratched.
Making his customary late charge down the outside of the course, Marchand d’Or won comfortably by 1 1/2-lengths over Moorhouse Lad.
Borderlescott got up for third, one length further back. Final time for the five-furlong dash was :54.40 over the good to soft going.
Trainer Freddie Head, who now has eight group I victories for the season, mentioned that a trip to Hong Kong might now be on the agenda for Marchand d’Or.
“I’ve never known a horse like him, going back to the great British sprinters over the years like Dayjur,” Head commented.
Marchand d’Or now boasts ten wins from 21 starts, with five group I victories to his credit. The 5-year-old gelding is by Marchand de Sable out of Fedora, by Kendor.