Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Marvel delights Gosden in Leger prep gallop

John Gosden knows as well as any trainer in recent years just what it takes to win the Ladbrokes St Leger and the Newmarket handler is beginning to sound ever more confident that Masked Marvel, his main contender for the big race at Doncaster on September, will run a very good race indeed, writes Elliot Slater.

Gosden first landed the final classic of the British flat racing scene as far back as 1996 when his Shantou (in the colours of Sheikh Mohammed) stormed home to a famous success. It wasn’t until 2007 that Gosden struck again in the prestigious one-mile-six-furlong-132-yards contest, this time sending out Locarno to defy the popular opinion of those who bet on racing win in the colours of American owner George Strawbridge.

He didn’t have to wait too long for his third win in the race though as the first-time application of headgear on Arctic Cosmos proved a particularly shrewd move and saw William Buick’s mount score in the colours of Godsend’s wife, Rachel Hood.

Now Masked Marvel is the main hope for his trainer this year having won well at Newmarket ion his most recent outing in July where he proved just too strong for the subsequent Group 3 Geoffrey freer Stakes winner Census in the Group 3 Bahrain trophy over 13 furlongs. Gosden and most racing betting tips have no doubt that the Montjeu colt will stay the extra furlong-and-a-half as the three-year-old’s dam Waldmark stayed well enough to win the German St Leger.

In his most recent piece of work on the Limekilns gallop, Masked Marvel went a mile alongside a useful stable companion and delighted connections with the way he eased away in the closing stages to demonstrate his wellbeing. The Bjorn Nielsen-owned classic contender is still available at odds of 9/1 to give his tremendously popular handler a fourth success in the big race.

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