Trainer Dean Ivory registered his first Group One success after 10-1 shot Librisa Breeze fended off his QIPCO British Champions Sprint Stakes rivals.
The imposing five-year-old grey son of Mount Nelson travelled well throughout the six-furlong event under Robert Winston and found plenty for pressure in the closing stages to score by a length and a quarter from William Haggas’ Tasleet (10-1).
Aidan O’Brien’s Caravaggio (9-2) kept on well to finish a further three-quarters of a length behind in third, a neck ahead of 5-4 favourite Harry Angel.
Ivory, who has a fine record with sprinters, said: “We’ve done well to get where we are with him and you persevere and hope for a bit of luck and the luck’s come good today – it’s fantastic.
“He is a horse who has never had a clear run this year and he has grown into himself this year and is now a proper horse. He likes this nice straight track and you can keep things uncomplicated with him here. There was one stage where I thought that he wouldn’t get the gap but he got it and quickened up really nicely today.
“He is very versatile trip-wise. You can’t just say that you are going to keep a horse to six furlongs as you have to train horses for where the races are. He’s really a seven furlong horse or a miler, but I’ve had to train him for this race over six furlongs as there aren’t many races over those trips around for him unless you go abroad.
“We’ve bided our time with him and taught him to run over six furlongs and it has worked out nicely. Robert [Winston, jockey] believes in the horse as much as we do so it was great. We had this race in our sights for a long time and it’s great that it has all come together.”
Winston revealed afterwards that, if it were not for Librisa Breeze, he might have hung up his race-riding boots.
“He deserves that, he’s been a bit unlucky in running this year, bit of trouble in running, I’ve got a bit of stick over the rides I have given him, but you have to ride him like that, you have to ride him for luck,” he explained.
“This horse has more or less kept my career going, I was packing in last year, I gave my notice to Dean and it was going to be my last year riding. This horse came along and owner Tony Bloom and things have sort of blossomed since then. It’s kept the dream alive, kept me in game. You need horses like this on the big stage.”
Tasleet was finishing runner-up in a third Champions Series contest and William Haggas, his trainer, said: “I’m very proud of him. He’s been on the go all year and has run very well.”
Ryan Moore, who partnered Caravaggio, said: “He ran a good race, but the draw didn’t help.”
A neck further back in fourth was the hot favourite, Harry Angel, who was a little restless beforehand and raced quite keenly. Trainer Clive Cox said: “I don’t think that anyone has lost confidence in what he is able to do, and I think on a different day on better ground he will be back.”