Masked Marvel (horse)

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Masked Marvel
The horse prior to the 2013 Melbourne Cup, with jockey Michael Rodd.
GrandsireSadler's Wells
DamsireMark of Esteem
Foaled14 May 2008
CountryGreat Britain
BreederNewsells Park Stud
OwnerBjörn Nielsen
Lloyd Williams
TrainerJohn Gosden
Robert Hickmott
Record14: 4–0–1
Major wins
Cocked Hat Stakes (2011)
Bahrain Trophy (2011)
St. Leger Stakes (2011)[1]
Last updated on October 12, 2006

Masked Marvel is a British Thoroughbred racehorse best known for winning the 2011 St. Leger Stakes.


Masked Marvel was sired by Montjeu out of the German mare Waldmark. He is closely related to the 2011 Deutsches Derby winner Waldpark. He was trained throughout his career in Europe by John Gosden at Newmarket, Suffolk.

He was bred by the Hertfordshire-based Newsells Park Stud, and was sent as a yearling at Deauville Sales in August 2009 where he was sold for €260,000 to Jeremy Brummitt, the racing manager of Bjorn Nielsen.[2]

Racing career[edit]

2010: two-year-old season[edit]

Masked Marvel began his career by winning a maiden race at Sandown, staying on strongly to lead close home and win by two lengths.[3] He was immediately stepped up into Group race company, finishing sixth to Abjer in the Autumn Stakes at Ascot.

2011: three-year-old season[edit]

He began his three-year-old season by finishing fifth in the Sandown Classic Trial behind Genius Beast. Gosden later said that the colt was unsuited by the "tacky" ground.[4] Masked Marvel then moved into Classic contention by beating Namibian by three lengths in the Cocked Hat Stakes,[5] after which he was offered at 33–1 for the Derby. His trainer spoke positively of the colt, saying that, "he stays well and I like the way he quickened".[4]

In the Derby he failed to cope with Epsom - Gosden described him as being "confused"[6] by the course- and finished eighth of the thirteen runners, beaten just under nine lengths by Pour Moi.[7] A month later, Masked Marvel re-appeared in the Bahrain Trophy at Newmarket, where he held off Census by a head in a tight finish to record his first Group race win.[8] Despite the closeness of the finish, his rider Jimmy Fortune felt that the colt had more in reserve and was just "idling" in front.[9] He was then rested and did not run again for ten weeks.

The St Leger was run at an unusually strong pace, making it a thorough test of stamina. Masked Marvel passed the Ballydoyle contender Seville two furlongs from home, opened up a clear lead, and stayed on strongly to win by three lengths from Brown Panther and Sea Moon in a race record time of 3:00.44.[10] His rider, William Buick, who had been suspended for the colt's run at Newmarket, reported that Masked Marvel finished so well that he had difficulty pulling up.[11] By a notable coincidence, the Gosden stable won the Irish St Leger less than an hour later when their gelding, Duncan dead-heated with Jukebox Jury at the Curragh[12]

On 29 September Masked Marvel was a supplementary entry to the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe for a fee of €100,000. The race had been the target for his stable companion Nathaniel who was withdrawn because of the firm ground at Longchamp.[13] In the race, Masked Marvel raced prominently, but faded in the straight and finished last of the sixteen runners behind Danedream.

2012: four-year-old season[edit]

Masked Marvel began his four-year-old season in the Jockey Club Stakes at Newmarket. He led in the early stages but faded in the straight and finished seventh of the eight runners behind Al Kazeem. At Epsom on 2 June he finished third behind St Nicholas Abbey in the Coronation Cup. His form then deteriorated as he finished unplaced in the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes, Geoffrey Freer Stakes and Doncaster Cup.

2013/2014: four-year-old season[edit]

Masked Marvel was sold and exported to race in Australia. On his debut for his new connections he finished last in the Makybe Diva Stakes at Flemington Racecourse in September.

Race record[edit]

Date Race Dist (f) Course Class Prize (£K) Odds Runners Placing Margin Time Jockey Trainer
15 September 2010 EBF Maiden Stakes 8 Sandown M 4 13/8 9 1 2 1:50.36 William Buick John Gosden
9 October 2010 Autumn Stakes 8 Ascot 3 22 7/2 8 6 11 1:44.84 William Buick John Gosden
24 April 2011 Sandown Classic Trial 10 Sandown 3 28 21/1 9 5 8 2:11.39 William Buick John Gosden
18 May 2011 Cocked Hat Stakes 11 Goodwood Listed 17 13/2 5 1 3 2:25.55 William Buick John Gosden
4 June 2011 Derby 12 Epsom 1 709 25/1 13 8 8.75 2:34.54 William Buick John Gosden
7 July 2011 Bahrain Trophy 12 Newmarket July 3 28 2/1 6 1 head 2:49.54 Jimmy Fortune John Gosden
10 September 2011 St Leger 14.5 Doncaster 1 306 15/2 9 1 3 3:00.44 William Buick John Gosden
2 October 2011 Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe 12 Longchamp 1 1970 21/1 16 16 26 2:24.49 William Buick John Gosden
5 May 2012 Jockey Club Stakes 12 Newmarket 1 56 9/1 8 7 17 2:39.66 William Buick John Gosden
2 June 2012 Coronation Cup 12 Epsom 1 170 8/1 6 3 7.75 2:34.52 William Buick John Gosden
21 July 2012 King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes 12 Ascot 1 567 25/1 10 9 14.5 2:31.62 Frankie Dettori John Gosden
18 August 2012 Geoffrey Freer Stakes 13.5 Newbury 3 31 3/1 6 4 12 2:49.20 Jimmy Fortune John Gosden
14 September 2012 Doncaster Cup 18 Doncaster 2 56 9/1 10 8 8 3:58.11 William Buick John Gosden
7 September 2013 Makybe Diva Stakes 8 Flemington 1 137 60/1 14 14 6 3:58.11 Steven Arnold Robert Hickmott


Pedigree of Masked Marvel (GB), bay horse, 2008[14]
Montjeu (IRE)
Sadler's Wells
Northern Dancer Nearctic
Fairy Bridge Bold Reason
Top Ville High Top
Sega Ville
Toute Cy Tennyson
Adele Toumignon
Waldmark (GER)
Mark of Esteem
Darshaan Shirley Heights
Homage Ajdal
Home Love
Acatenango Surumu
Wurfbahn Frontal
Wolkenpracht (Family: 5-h)


  1. ^ "Masked Marvel". Racing Post. 2011-06-02. Retrieved 2011-09-10.
  2. ^ "Newsells Park Stud Sales Success". Archived from the original on 2012-04-02. Retrieved 2011-09-30.
  3. ^ "EBF Maiden Stakes". Racing Post. Retrieved 2011-09-10.
  4. ^ a b Greg Wood (2011-05-18). "Benny Andersson of Abba fame poised to have runner in Epsom Oaks". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 2011-09-11.
  5. ^ "Cocked Hat Stakes". Racing Post. Retrieved 2011-09-10.
  6. ^ Greg Wood at Doncaster (2011-09-10). "Masked Marvel lands St Leger at Doncaster". London: Guardian. Retrieved 2011-09-30.
  7. ^ "Epsom Derby result". Racing Post. Retrieved 2011-09-30.
  8. ^ "Bahrain Trophy 2011". Racing Post. Retrieved 2011-09-11.
  9. ^ "Frederick Engels' class disarms mutinous Soldier". The Independent. London. 2011-07-08. Retrieved 2011-09-11.
  10. ^ "St Leger result". Racing Post. 2011-06-02. Retrieved 2011-09-10.
  11. ^ "Marvellous Marvel wins St Leger". The Independent. London. 2011-09-11. Retrieved 2011-09-30.
  12. ^ Armytage, Marcus (2011-09-10). "Gosden St Leger glory". London: Telegraph. Retrieved 2011-09-30.
  13. ^ "Workforce set to defend Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe crown". BBC News. Retrieved 2011-09-30.
  14. ^ "Masked Marvel pedigree". 2012-05-08. Retrieved 2012-07-03.