Masked Marvel (3c Montjeu-Waldmark, by Mark Of Esteem) staked his claims for the G1 Ladbrokes St Leger with a success in the G3 Bahrain Trophy at Newmarket’s July Meeting on Thursday.
The John Gosden-trained winner, who was ridden by Jimmy Fortune, committed for home with a mile left to run, and after staying on strongly on meeting the rising ground, the Montjeu colt had a head left over Census passing the judge.
Masked Marvel, who had landed a Listed event in Bjorn Nielsen’s colours at Goodwood prior to taking eighth in the G1 Investec Derby, was given a 16/1 quote by the sponsors for the G1 Ladbrokes St Leger at Doncaster in September.
“He ran a nice race at Goodwood and Mr Nielsen was keen to run in the Derby but he simply did not handle the track at Epsom, which not many of them do. But he has come here in good order,” said Gosden. “I told Jimmy that if nothing wanted to go on then he should take the lead. It’s the great thing about Jimmy and he just decided to go on.
“Jimmy said that in the final furlong that the horse was looking at the stands and the tents and was pulling himself up. I like the way he went about it and he was staying on at the end so it will be straight to the St Leger now. He has done plenty this season so we will keep him fresh and go straight to Doncaster.”
Fortune added: “He is a lovely horse. I didn’t want to make it but they were crawling so I ended up having to and he was just getting a bit lonely in the last furlong. He got the trip and he is a lovely big horse. The ground was probably just on the slow side.”
Masked Marvel was bred by Newsells Park Stud and was bought for 260,000 euros as a yearling at Deauville by Jeremy Brummitt.