Nathanial’s win in the King Edward VII Stakes last season at Royal Ascot persuaded connections to stay at 1m4f with their runner in what was an impressive performance over the middle distance trip.
For most parts of the 2011 campaign, Nathanial was the ante-post favourite for the final Classic of the year in the St Leger at Doncaster over 1m6f. However, a shot at the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes was decided and it paid off for all connected as he defeated former Derby and Arc winner Workforce and St Nicholas Abbey for his first Group One victory. The three-year old went off at 11/2 for the big race and scored by just under three lengths with St Michael Stoute’s former Classic winner in second place. Those looking at the latest 2012 Royal Ascot odds need to bear this in mind.
Nathanial’s toughest test of the season came on British Champions Day at Ascot where he finished a respectable fifth in the Qipco Champion Stakes which involved So You Think, Snow Fairy and Midday. It was though, a French horse who won the end of season finale as Christophe Soumillon rode Cirrus Des Aigles to victory ahead of the British stars in the richest race of the season in the UK.
Although there was no run in the St Leger for Nathanial, it was his stablemate Masked Marvel who ensured there was still success in the race for trainer John Gosden and stable jockey William Buick. The pair matched their achievement of 2010 when they both scored in the big race with Arctic Cosmos. It also recorded a hat-trick of wins in the Classic for Gosden who first won the contest with Lucarno in 2007.