William Knight’s Sir Busker, so often the bridesmaid in big races, gained his biggest success to date when edging out the Champion Stakes runner-up Dubai Honour in the Sky Bet York Stakes.
The six-year-old was running over 10 furlongs for the first time having spent the best part of his career chasing home the likes of Palace Pier and Baaeed in Group Ones over a mile.
He has had the occasional big day in the sun, like when winning the Silver Royal Hunt Cup at Ascot in 2020 but given that was behind closed doors, none of his Kennet Valley Thoroughbred members who own him were able to cheer him home.
There were plenty on the Kanvesmire, though, but as he became embroiled in a battle with William Haggas’ classy Dubai Honour, having his first run since the Dubai Carnival, it looked like once more Sir Busker may have to settle for second best.
However, he dug deep for Ben Curtis, getting the verdict by a nose.
And now he has proved his stamina over the longer trip, he has opened up a whole new avenue, probably starting with a return to York for the prestigious Juddmonte International, for which Betfair and Paddy Power cut him to 50-1 from 100s.
“I’m very proud and just so pleased for the horse,” said Knight of the 15-2 winner.
“He’s deserved that, he’s run some massive races over the last couple of years and it’s so nice to get his head in front in a big one.
“He’s obviously loved the step up to a mile and a quarter – we probably should have done it earlier!
“I thought it was a competitive race, but I thought we looked a big price this morning if the step up in trip worked.
“We put him in the Juddmonte thinking if he won today it would look silly if we weren’t in it. It’s such good prize money and it will have to be seriously considered. He’s picked up a lot of money for coming placed in his career.”