Marvellous double for Montjeu

Masked Marvel and Jukebox Jury completed a classic double for Coolmore sire Montjeu in the English and Irish St Legers on Saturday.

Masked Marvel won by three lengths in course record time at Doncaster, whereas Jukebox Jury dead-heated with fellow British raider Duncan (Dalakhani) at the Curragh.

Masked Marvel (3c Montjeu-Waldmark by Mark Of Esteem) had won a G3 at Newmarket in July and was given a perfect trail as stablemate Buthelezi set a brutal early gallop.  As his rivals fell by the wayside in the straight, the John Gosden trained colt forged clear to prevail by three lengths over Brown Panther.

“I always thought he would be a St Leger type if he grew and developed,” Gosden said.  “He is a proper horse and he has been working quite beautifully.  He has a high cruising speed and he has got that kick you need at the end.”

Gosden bought the colt for Bjorn Nielsen for 260,000 euros at the 2009 Deauville August yearling sale.

Jukebox Jury and Duncan, who is also prepared by Gosden, couldn’t be separated after thrilling duel at the Curragh.

Jukebox Jury (5h Montjeu – Mare Aux Fees by Kenmare) is trained by Mark Johnston and was coming off a G2 victory over 3000m at Deauville in August.

“I thought that he was beaten but he is a typical Mark Johnston horse,” jockey Johnny Murtagh said.  “He was very brave and it was a fair result for everybody – we stretched right away from the rest of the field.

The St Leger double continued a milestone year for Montjeu in Europe.  He has also sired G1 English Derby winner Pour Moi, G1 Coronation Cup winner St Nicholas Abbey and G1 Ascot Gold Cup winner Fame And Glory.

Montjeu (Sadler’s Wells) shuttled from Coolmore to Windsor Park for five southern seasons until 2004 and left G1 winners like (Lord) Tavistock, Nom Du Jeu, Roman Emperor and Wall Street.