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Masked Marvel lands the Ladbrokes St Leger

10 Sep 2011

The John Gosden-trained, William Buick-ridden colt took the season's final Classic by three lengths from Brown Panther, bringing his jockey, William Buick, right into contention for the Jockey of the Series accolade.

Masked Marvel and William Buick win the Ladbrokes St Leger.  Image courtesy of racingfotos.com.

Masked Marvel put up a fine performance to win the Ladbrokes St Leger, the world’s oldest Classic race which was first run in 1776, at Doncaster this afternoon.

He travelled well throughout the race in mid-division and made smooth headway three furlongs out, taking it up with over a furlong to go before being driven clear to record a decisive success.

Brown Panther, owned by Michael Owen, was second, with the favourite Sea Moon, who endured a troubled passage and ran on late once in the clear, in third.

Seville, who cruised into the lead with over two fulongs to go, failed to see out the mile-and-three-quarters trip to finish fourth.

Census faded inside the final furlong to finish fifth, while Blue Bunting finished a disappointing sixth having been pushed along with more than five furlongs to go and never getting into contention.

Masked Marvel’s three length victory in the 29th leg of the QIPCO British Champions Series and the sixth in the Long Distance category has brought William Buick right into contention on the QIPCO British Champions Series top jockey leaderboard.

He has four wins to his name, just one behind Tom Queally and Frankie Dettori. It was his second successive victory in Britain’s oldest Classic, having won it last year on Arctic Cosmos.

It was John Gosden’s third Series victory, taking him into fourth place on the trainers’ leaderboard, and his fourth Leger victory following Arctic Cosmos last year, Lucarno in 2007 and Shantou in 1996.

Masked Marvel has the option to run in the final race in the Long Distance division, the two-mile QIPCO British Champions Long Distance Cup at Ascot on Saturday 15 October.

Gosden said: “We could step up to two miles on QIPCO British Champions Day, we could drop down to a mile-and-a-half or we might call it a day for this year.”

Refecting on today’s victory, he said: "From the day I saw him as a yearling in Deauville, I thought he was a Leger type and he’s grown and developed.

"He was a powerful little guy then and he’s got a great pedigree for this job.

"He’s done nothing wrong all his life and he won well at Goodwood and then the July Meeting and his owner allowed me to back off him and come here nice and fresh so we had a lovely horse for the autumn.

"To win the oldest Classic with this horse is what we’ve planned for about two years.

"He’s got a high cruising speed and I told William to settle where you’re happy and not to attack too soon as there is a strong headwind.

"He’s a proper horse and I’d have been shocked if he wasn’t in the three."

Like the winner, Sea Moon is also entered in the £200,000 QIPCO British Champions Series Long Distance Cup, while Seville has an entry in the £1.3m QIPCO Champion Stakes.

For the full race result, CLICK HERE.