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Masked Marvel returns to the scene of his greatest triumph

12 Sep 2012

Last year's Ladbrokes St Leger winner returns to Doncaster for his first attempt over a distance longer than the Leger trip when he tackles the two and a quarter mile Stobart Doncaster Cup.

Masked Marvel has failed to win since last year’s comfortable Ladbrokes St Leger triumph. Image courtesy of racingfotos.com.

A fascinating Stobart Doncaster Cup on Friday, race five in the QIPCO British Champions Series Long Distance division, pits the Gold Cup winner, Colour Vision, against the winner of last year’s Doncaster Cup and this year’s Artemis Goodwood Cup, Saddler’s Rock, and last year’s Ladbrokes St Leger winner, Masked Marvel.

The latter has consistently come up short in races over 12 and 13 furlongs since his 14 1/2 furlong Ladbrokes St Leger triumph a year ago, but now he tackles 18 furlongs with his trainer, John Gosden, confident that he will have the stamina for the trip.

If he can recapture last season’s form, he would have a huge chance.

Colour Vision, burdened with a Group 1 penalty for his gutsy Royal Ascot triumph in the Gold Cup in June, could not match Saddler’s Rock and Askar Tau in the Artemis Goodwood Cup and although he will have the same four pound penalty to carry on Friday, the Godolphin-owned four-year-old will have another try.

Saddler’s Rock, meantime, disappointed in the Weatherbys Insurance Lonsdale Cup at York last month, not appreciating the softer ground and finding himself in front from the start which clearly did not suit him.

He needs to bounce back if he is to make it two Doncaster Cups in a row.

Goodwood runner-up Askar Tau also disappointed in the Lonsdale Cup, but the winner of that race, Times Up, looked very good that day and now that he has at last won a big staying prize may have more to offer when he looks to back up that victory on Friday.

High Jinx, who was second over York’s two miles that day and may improve for the extra quarter mile on Friday, also runs, while the sole three-year-old in the ten runner line-up cannot be ignored.

Saddler’s Rock won last year as a three-year-old, taking full advantage of the big weight concession that three-year-olds receive from their elders in a race over this distance, and Repeater, trained my Sir Mark Prescott, will have to be feared by all.

He was staying on well over 13 furlongs last time and if he has the stamina for Friday’s 18 furlong trip, the well-bred gelding would have a serious chance.

A cracking race looks in prospect, so tune in and watch it live on Channel 4 or At The Races at 2.20pm.

For the full race details and declared field of runners, CLICK HERE.