epsom derby 2011/
Gosden Expecting Marvel to Run Well in Epsom Derby
John Gosden has always held Masked Marvel in high regard but it wasn't until his recent victory in the listed Cocked Hat Stakes at Goodwood that the Montjeu colt finally proved his handler's opinion of him to be on the mark, writes Elliot Slater.
Owned by Bjorn Nielsen, (who has had good horses in the past such as the smart stayer Assessor), Masked Marvel made a winning debut in September of last year in a Sandown maiden beating Mutayaaser by a comfortable two-lengths. Probably found out by the soft ground when well fancied for the Group 3 Autumn Stakes at Ascot a month later when finishing only sixth of the eight runners behind Abjeer, Gosden's colt made his seasonal reappearance at Sandown in April's Group 3 bet365 Classic Trial, finishing fifth to Genius Beast, a performance that on the face of it was disappointing but which Gosden excused on account of the ground being tackier than the official going description and those looking at the Epsom 2011 betting might want to bear this in mind.
Sent to Goodwood for genuinely decent ground last week, William Buick's mount was always travelling powerfully at the rear of the five-runner field and when asked to go about his business at the two furlong from home marker he quickened readily to join the front-running Namibian before powering clear to score by an easy three-lengths, with a number of higher rated rivals strung out behind him. Even those looking at the Royal Ascot betting would have been impressed.
Whilst the ever realistic Gosden has no doubt that ante-post favourite Carlton House (6/4f) is going to be hard to beat, he reasons that Masked Marvel is progressing well and that to finish in the places in the Derby is reason enough to take your chance. Masked Marvel could represent decent each-way value at the current best odds available of 25/1 and would certainly be a popular winner for his much admired handler.