Marchand D'Or magnificent at Deauville
Monday 11 August 2008
Marchand D'Or entered the annals of French racing yesterday by becoming the first horse to win the Prix Maurice de Gheest at Deauville three times.
There have been five dual winners of the Group One sprint since its inception in 1922 – the latest being Boitron in 1979 and 1980 – but no other horse has gone on to achieve a hat-trick.
Sent off the 5-4 favourite, having won the July Cup at Newmarket last month, Marchand D'Or travelled ominously well towards the rear of the field but was trapped behind a wall of horses. But once a gap came the response was electric as Davy Bonilla's mount flew through to take up the lead from African Rose and score a shade cosily.
"I was a little bit worried when he was trapped but this can happen in racing," said trainer Freddie Head, who was successful in the race as a jockey on Anabaa in 1996. "It was a long way from home and I knew that once he got out, he would just stride out to the line. It's great he is now in the record books."
Head is keen to let his stable star have another crack at the Betfred Sprint Cup at Haydock, a race he was second in 12 months ago.
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