Marvel-lous festival

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The world-famous Ladbrokes St Leger Festival is now behind us for another year, and what a fantastic spectacle of top-class racing it has been.

We had legends galore grace the course on our first day last Wednesday. And the Stobart Doncaster Cup Day on Friday saw a thrilling seven-race card featuring three Group Two contests.

The card opened with the Group Two Polypipe Flying Childers over five furlongs. This race targets the speediest two-year olds and it was Requinto, trained by David Wachman in Ireland, who followed up his victory in the Molecomb Stakes at Goodwood, getting home a short head clear of the Ed Dunlop trained Burwaaz.

The Group Two Stobart Doncaster Cup over the marathon distance of two miles and two furlongs saw another victory for Ireland. Saddlers Rock, trained by John Oxx, stayed on well to win by four lengths ahead of the Frankie-Dettori-ridden favourite Opinion Poll.

Frankie was back in the winners’ enclosure in the very next race when the Godolphin horse, Lyric of Light, battled on well to win the Group Two Barrett Steel May Hill Stakes by a neck. 

And this all happened ahead of the main event, the St Leger Stakes - the oldest classic horse race - which kicked off at 3.10pm on Saturday. The stellar field included the much-fancied Sea Moon and Frankie Dettori’s mount, Blue Bunting, and Brown Panther, owned by footballer Michael Owen and ridden by Kieren Fallon.

Masked Marvel romped to victory in a new course record time - fantastic considering the head wind atthe meeting. The triumph, in what is the 29th leg of the QIPCO British Champions Series and the sixth in the Long Distance category, has brought rider William Buick right into contention on the QIPCO British Champions Series top jockey leaderboard.