Masked Marvel (3 c Montjeu-Waldmark, by Mark Of Esteem) gave Montjeu a second victory in the world’s oldest Classic as he lowered the course record in the Group 1 Ladbrokes St Leger at Doncaster.
John Gosden’s rapidly improving colt, a Group Three winner at Newmarket in July, was held up as stable companion Buthelezi set a brutal early gallop.
Winning jockey William Buick was full of confidence as the majority of his rivals fell by the wayside in the straight with Masked Marvel forging clear inside the final furlong to prevail by three lengths over Brown Panther.
Gosden, celebrating a second successive victory the Doncaster Classic, was full of praise for Masked Marvel, who was bought for Bjorn Nielsen for 260,000 euros as a yearling at Deauville in August, 2009.
“From the day I saw him purchased, I thought that he was that type (for the St Leger), if he grew and developed,” commented Gosden, who was celebrating a fourth success in the Doncaster Classic.
“He was a powerful little guy back then but he has got great pedigree for this job and he has done nothing wrong all of his life.
“We have other races we could have run in but, to win the oldest Classic with this horse is what we had planned for about two years, so sometimes it works.
“He is a proper horse and he has been working quite beautifully, so I would have been shocked if he hadn’t have been in the first three.
“He has always looked like a Leger type. We ran him in the Derby which is the best trial for the Leger, and he didn’t handle the track. He has a high cruising speed and he has got that kick you need at the end. You don’t plod around here you have to have acceleration. I would have been disappointed if he hadn’t been one or two.
“He is a fresh horse for the autumn, so from that point of view, we will have a look at the QIPCO championship two-mile race, but he has got the pace to come back to a mile and a half if we want.
“He has a beautiful action, he loves good ground and if it was soft, he wouldn’t like it. One thing I always thought years ago was if they have got that action, they want to float off the ground.”