Maarek swoops late to snatch Prix de l’Abbaye

Maarek flew the flag for Ireland when he swooped late to snatch the glory in the Qatar Prix de l’Abbaye.

Trained by Barry Lalor, Maarek was scoring a first Group One victory as jockey Declan McDonogh produced his mount between horses inside the final furlong to see off Catcall by a neck.

Hamza raced prominently throughout and just held on to third in a photo with Nunthorpe winner Jwala while Reckless Abandon had to settle for fifth on his first start since Royal Ascot in June. 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 for the British Champions Sprint he won last year now.”

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