Group 1 Glory at Longchamps

A new milestone was reached for Peter & Philip Vela overnight, with the victory of Maarek (Pivotal) in the Group 1 €3,500,000 (NZ$5,697,587) Qatar Prix de L’Abbaye de Longchamp (1000m) at Longchamps on the undercard to the world famous Group 1 Prix de L’Arc de Triomphe.

Maarek was bred by Peter & Philip Vela in partnership with New England Stud (based in Newmarket, England) which is managed by Peter Stanley with the farm owned by the Stanley family since 1952. Maarek was sold as yearling by New England Stud for 130,000gns to Shadwell Estate Company.

Maarek was able to beat a high-class field of sprinters that included four previous Group 1 winners such as brilliant two-year-old Reckless Abandon (Choisir), last-start Group 1 Nunthorpe Stakes winner Jwala (Oasis Dream) and this year’s Group 1 Kings Stand Stakes winner at Royal Ascot Sole Power (Kyllachy).

A noted back marker, the son of Pivotal was suited by the strong pace and a favourable soft track as he powered home from the back of the field for jockey Declan McDonogh to gather in the leaders and land his first win at Group 1 level.

The six-year-old gelding has been a consistent performer in Europe, winning five stakes races with his previous best performance being a win in the Group 2 Ascot British Champions Spring Stakes last year. He is trained in Ireland by Barry Lalor for owners the Lisbunny Syndicate and has won 11 of his 31 starts.

The Prix de L’Arc de Triomphe raceday is one of the world’s most renowned racedays with the feature race, run over a mile and four furlongs (2400m), acclaimed as one of the most prestigious races in the world.

Maarek is by Group 1 winning sprinter in Pivotal, a proven sire standing at Cheveley Park Stud in Newmarket, England. His dam, Ruby Rocket (Indian Ridge), was a dual Listed winner in Europe and is half-sister to three stakes performed horses.