Prix de l'Abbaye Success for Maarek
1 Maarek 102/10
The mudloving Maarek produced a devastating late burst of speed to capture the Qatar Prix de l'Abbaye at Longchamp.
French hope Catcall hit the front and looked to have the race won, but Maarek scythed through the opposition and nailed him in the shadow of the post for a famous victory by a short neck. A further length and a half away were Hamza and Jwala, who were in a photo-finish for third, with the former prevailing by a short head.
Reckless Abandon was next home, followed by Sole Power and Ladies Are Forever.
McDonogh said: "They went very fast, but he got a nice lead off the horse who was second. He's very game and he loves soft ground. They've done a great job with him, and he goes to Ascot (Qipco British Champions Sprint Stakes) now with a great chance."
Maarek won the Ascot race last year when trained by David Nagle, but switched yards in the summer and the Abbaye was his third run for his new trainer following a success at Newbury last month. It was his first victory at the top level.
Lalor said: "We knew the horse was in good form and he likes the ground soft, but it's always risky with a hold-up horse as you never know what's going to happen.
"It's every trainer and owner's dream with a sprinter to end up in this race and I'd like to particularly thank my assistant Evanna McCutcheon for getting the horse here in such good shape. We'd like to go for the Ascot sprint he won last year now."
Neil Callan, rider of the Kevin Ryan-trained Hamza, said: "He ran a great race, but he'd run in the Haydock Sprint Cup and in the Ayr Gold Cup and ideally he could have come here a bit fresher. But I was very pleased with him nonetheless."
Jwala's jockey Steve Drowne added: "To be honest, I think the ground has got a bit quick for her and she never got in quite the same rhythm as she did at York (when winning the Nunthorpe), but she has run a fabulous race and is clearly in good order."
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