Investec Derby 2011 

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Marvel Proves Cocked Hat Revelation

John Gosden's colt Masked Marvel had rather slipped under the radar prior to his surprise victory in Wednesday's Listed IBA Cocked Hat Stakes at Goodwood but has now entered the Investec Derby picture as a lively outsider who could well give supporters a decent run for their money, writes Elliot Slater.

Masked Marvel
© Racehorse Photos

Masked Marvel
The Montjeu colt showed a pleasing attitude and stayed on well over the 11 furlong trip at the undulating Sussex track, quickening from off the pace to take up the running over a furlong from home from Godolphin's Badeel (who eventually trailed in a disappointing last of five), then seeing out the trip in style to draw three-lengths clear of Mark Johnston's Namibian. The Epsom derby odds suggest he could push on from this performance.

Speaking to the press in the aftermath of the victory of the William Buick-ridden winner, Gosden revealed that he has always held Masked Marvel in some regard and that things had simply not gone his way since the debut victory of the 260,000 euro purchase at Sandown last summer. A step up to listed company on his second and final outing as a juvenile proved puzzling with owner Bjorn Nielsen's charge finishing only sixth of eight in the Ascot race, whilst on his seasonal appearance in Sandown's Bet365 Classic Trial today's winner failed to handle the tacky ground and eventually faded to finish down the field behind Genius Beast.

Bookmakers reacted to the Goodwood win by cutting the odds of a Masked Marvel victory at Epsom Downs on June 4 to a best priced 33/1, although a couple of firms have possibly overreacted by slashing the Gosden-trained winner to just 16/1 from 66s. Keen punters will also be keeping an eye on the Royal Ascot 2011 betting.

Dante Stakes winner Carlton House remains the warmest order in the ante-post market with 7/4 being an absolute best price, while a hint that Godolphin's Casamento might go instead for the French Derby has seen some firms push his odds out from 16/1 to 25/1 in places.

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