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Ascot

  • 14:20 Qipco British Champions Sprint Stakes 6f

  • (Group 2) £250,000 added 3yo+ 15 ran
  • Winner £141,775 2nd £53,750 3rd £26,900 4th £13,400
  • Going: Soft (Round Course: Soft (Heavy in places))
  • Surface: Turf
    Weighed In
  • Winning time: 1m 15.99s
  • Off time: 14:23:06

Maarek pips Hawk in Sprint

Fine ride sees Irish runner home in front

Last Updated: 20/10/12 3:08pm

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Maarek: Victorious at Ascot

Maarek: Victorious at Ascot

Maarek (5/1) made it a quick double for Ireland when landing the QIPCO British Champions Sprint Stakes at Ascot.

Jamie Spencer was one of four jockeys who decided to stick to the stands side rail and that decision proved crucial as the David Nagle-trained runner hit the front with a furlong to go and held off the late thrust of Hawkeyethenoo (25/1).

Jim Goldie's charge stormed home down the centre of the track but couldn't quite reel in the winner.

Dean Ivory's Sirius Prospect (12/1) flew home for third spot, just ahead of the well-fancied Society Rock and the outsider Imperial Guest.

Maarek's win was hot on the heels of Rite Of Passage landing the opening race on the card, the Long Distance Cup.

Reaction

Winning rider Spencer said: "He's been very consistent all season and he loves soft ground. I got a good lead into the race from Neil (Callan, on The Cheka) and everything worked out perfectly.

"I wouldn't have gone to the near side if Neil hadn't have gone there. The Cheka is a decent horse, he was second in the July Cup and he handles soft conditions.

"I got to the front probably sooner than ideal because my lad doesn't do a stroke.

"I was a bit worried but if something had have taken me further I'm sure he would have won more comfortably."

Maarek had disappointed last weekend in a Listed race but Nagle said: "The Curragh last week didn't really work out. They didn't go fast enough and we were beaten by a very good filly in Katla.

"He loves soft, it was a big pot, so why not? He's been in good form all season.

"He does a lot of swimming at home and he hasn't got that many miles on the clock really. We've kept him fresh all year.

"I think that will be him finished for the year and we will go off through the Group races next season.

"I hope we have another wet summer."

Jim Goldie said of Hawkeyethenoo: "I am chuffed with him. It's always difficult when the field splits into two, we were following Society Rock and in the end we won our side.

"But the winner was on the other side and there's not much you can do about that.

"That will be him finished for the year."

George Margarson said of fourth home Imperial Guest: "We have always thought he was up to this standard, even though we have been going down the handicap route.

"He's in at Doncaster next weekend, but I just thought we'd get him ready for Dubai now."


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