Nathaniel may not now be John Gosden’s representative in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, but the trainer certainly has a more than able back up in the form of Masked Marvel.
Which horse Gosden would run at Lonchamp has been the focus of much debate for the past week, with the lack of rain in Paris meaning that the ground would almost certainly be too quick on race day for Nathaniel.
Therefore, it was no surprise when the King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Stakes was pulled out.
However, what is a surprise is that St Leger winner Masked Marvel has been supplemented in his place, as Arctic Cosmos was largely considered to be the second option for Gosden.
The fact that connections have paid €100,000 to supplement Masked Marvel goes some way to show how highly he is rated and his form this year has been worthy of his inclusion.
His manner of victory at Doncaster in the St Leger was particularly impressive, sitting close up to the lead and then bursting clear of the opposition with 2f remaining.
This turn of foot means that he should have little problem stepping back in trip to 1m4f for the Arc, while the extra stamina he has previously shown could be valuable as the pace at Longchamp is expected to be blistering.
It is largely assumed that the Group One will be set up ideally for the fast finishers, but with no guarantee of a clear path to the front, similar tactics from Masked Marvel to that utilised effectively in the St Leger could see him secure a special victory.
No horse has ever won the St Leger and Arc in the same season.
Masked Marvel is 12/1 in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe odds to win at Longchamp.