Brighton favourite Pour La Victoire retired in a blaze of glory after notching his 11th victory at the seaside venue on Wednesday.
The Tony Carroll-trained veteran was running for the 36th time at Brighton in the vickers.bet Bet 10 Get 20 Classified Stakes. His first visit to the track was a winning one some eight years ago.
On the day the Pour La Victoire suite was opened at the south coast venue, the 6-1 chance charged home in the hands of Ray Dawson to claim a fairytale success by three-quarters of a length from 100-1 shot Mr Moneypenny.
Owners James Lawrence and Darren Blake were understandably emotional in the winner’s enclosure and immediately called time on their popular gelding’s career.
“It’s a speechless moment really – these are the days you dream of,” Lawrence told Sky Sports Racing.
“I think we’ll go out on a high – we’ll retire him today. We had a chat with Tony and we were kind of thinking this would be his last season.”
In all Pour La Victoire won 17 of his 121 career starts and also finished second 21 times and third on 16 occasions.
He made his debut for Nigel Tinkler in the summer of 2012 before joining Carroll the following year.
Lawrence added: “He’s a happy horse and we’ll give him a happy retirement.
“It’s been an 11-year journey with the horse, we’ve come to the end of it and it’s a bit emotional.”
It was a day for course specialists, with John Gallagher’s 2-1 favourite Junoesque registering a sixth Brighton win in the vickers.bet Best Odds Guaranteed Every Race Handicap.
The feature event of the afternoon, the £18,700 Wainwright Brighton Mile Challenge Handicap, went to Daniel and Claire Kubler’s tough-as-teak filly Zulu Girl.
Given a fine front-running ride by Nicola Currie, the 8-1 winner dug deep to repel the challenge of Urban War by a length and a quarter and secure the Brighton Mile Challenge Trophy.
“She was a jockey’s dream ride there,” said Currie.
“I was aware there was a lot of pace in the race, but also she’s a filly that just gallops.
“I ideally wanted to be where I was happiest, going a good gallop and taking a lead, but I’ve been able to bowl along (in front).
“She loves coming up that hill. You know when you ask the question she’s going to keep going for you.”