herald

Saturday 18 August 2018

Gosden hails his double win

JOHN GOSDEN has achieved most things in his exalted training career but winning two Classics in the space of 40 minutes has to be up there.

The Clarehaven handler won the Ladbrokes St Leger at Doncaster with Masked Marvel and shared the Irish Field St Leger at the Curragh as his Duncan dead-heated with Mark Johnston's Jukebox Jury.

Masked Marvel (15-2) was providing Gosden with back-to-back wins in the race after Arctic Cosmos 12 months ago, and looked a hugely improved performer in beating Michael Owen's Brown Panther by three lengths.

The favourite Sea Moon was a never-nearer third, with Seville fourth after hitting the front three furlongs out.

"Last year was a dream and this is another one," said Gosden. "From the first day I saw him as a yearling at Deauville, I just thought he was that type. He was a powerful 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 was confused by Epsom but came back well at the July meeting.

"His owner (Bjorn Nielsen) 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."

The win maintained jockey William Buick's 100pc record in the race.

Over at the Curragh, Fame And Glory was sent off the odds-on favourite to return to winning ways in the Irish version, but Aidan O'Brien's Ascot Gold Cup winner was way below par.

It was left to Jukebox Jury and Duncan to fight out a thrilling finish up the straight as the lead changed hands on more than two occasions.

"It feels really good to win my first Classic," said Eddie Ahern, rider of Duncan.

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