Off a step slowly, the grey gelding ran into traffic problems under Davy Bonilla and had dropped back to last by the halfway stage. Bonilla never lost his cool, though, and brought the gelding on with a well-timed run up the center of the track to take the lead with 100 yards left to win rather easily by a length.
Favorite Dutch Art finished second, a half-length in front of the filly, Silver Touch.
Time for the 6 1/2-furlongs was 1:14.9, just two-tenths of a second off the course record of 1:14.7 set in 1998.
The 4-year-old Marchand de Sable gelding is trained by former champion jockey Freddie Head, who gave most of the credit for the victory to his stable staff. “This is a very good horse and I would like to dedicate this win to my team, as he is not an easy horse to handle,” Head told reporters afterwards.
Both Marchand D’Or and Dutch Art are certain to meet again in September, in the Betfred Sprint Cup (Eng-I) at Haydock Park. They will likely run into leading sprinter Sakhee’s Secret, who beat both opponents in the Darley July Cup (Eng-I) last month.
Marchand D’Or, who is out of the Kendor mare, Fedora, has won six of 13 lifetime starts, for earnings of $584,585.