Tom Marquand and Sea La Rosa prove a perfect pair with Lillie Langtry Stakes win

Sea La Rosa showed her true class in the Qatar Lillie Langtry Stakes as jockey Tom Marquand timed his challenge to pinpoint perfection.

Jason Hart tore any pre-race tactics to shreds when he set off on an enterprising rise aboard eventual runner-up Urban Artist. 

Hughie Morrison's seven-year-old was more than a dozen lengths clear of Sea La Rosa and Yesyes when breaching the highest part of the track before setting her sights for home.

However, an enthralling chase ensued as Urban Artist's stride began to shorten and the rivals began to gain ground.

In the end, it was Marquand who saved the most petrol as he pounced in the closing stages to score by a length.

Urban Artist gallantly shaded the battle for second, while Emily Dickinson, who was held up out the back by Ryan Moore, was unable to make up enough ground despite flying home for third.

"It was a very strange race, and to give credit to Hugh (Morrison) his filly nearly pulled it off," said Maureen Haggas, wife and assistant to her husband.

"It wasn't the easiest task for Tom getting cover, as this filly stops when she hits the front, and you have to try to put her head in front on the line.

"She's a witty little thing, and on her first attempt at the trip she seemed to get it well.

"She's in the Irish Leger which could be the way to go. But we will talk to Mrs Choi (owner)."

Marquand said: "It was a tough one because we know Urban Artist stays very well and yet you never know quite how much a horse in front has left.

"This filly gives you great confidence on the way round because she travels so strongly and you know she is going to grit it out. It was just a case of trying to pick her up at the right time yet not run her off her legs.

"When you have one loose on the front end you have to time it so your horse is catching it, but with not enough time for the others to use you as a second wave.

"It's a hard one, but watching the Tour De France in the past week has probably helped me with that - except we didn't have a lead-out man. She's not very big, but she has a huge heart."

READ MORE: Khaadem holds off Raasel challenge to win King George Qatar Stakes

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