Equilateral, running in his first handicap in the UK, defied top weight in the Sky Bet And Symphony Group-sponsored opener at York.
Trained by Charlie Hills, the sprinter is now in the veteran stage as an eight-year-old but is clearly still a force to be reckoned with.
While he had run in handicaps before, they had only been in Meydan, where he won the same event two years running in 2020 and 2021.
Since then he has spent his career dining at the top tables, running in Pattern races with his career-best effort coming behind stablemate Battaash in the 2020 King’s Stand when second.
He had run well earlier in the season to be second in both the Temple and Achilles Stakes at Haydock but was last of 11 at Goodwood behind Highfield Princess last time out.
In a typically helter-skelter affair, York specialist Copper Knight made a bold bid but was swamped close home, with Equilateral and Jamie Spencer beating Alligator Alley by a neck with a head back to Jm Jungle.
Hills said: “He’s a yard favourite, he’s always got his head over the door and the day he does leave will be very sad.
“He loves Dubai, he ran well this year without getting his head in front, hopefully that will give him confidence to go forward and go back into Group class. He loves that fast ground.
“He’s in the Flying Five at the Curragh and that is a definite option. If Khaadem can win a Group One at 80-1 then this fellow can!”
Forza Orta survived a stewards’ inquiry to claim the Sky Bet Stayers Handicap at 8-1.
Kevin Ryan’s charge showed real tenacity to hold off the Andrew Balding-trained 7-2 favourite Aztec Empire, who can could himself an unlucky loser having had his passage blocked at numerous key points in the closing stages of the extended two-mile heat.
Ryan said: “He got the trip well and he’s a horse we always felt would get this trip eventually.
“He was just looking a bit one paced over the shorter distances this year, it was time to try something different and I said if we were going to step him up, let’s do it at York and find out there.
“It was a good performance and it opens up an awful lot of avenues for us now.”
Designer (5-1) finished strongly to land the IRE Incentive, It Pays To Buy Irish Fillies’ Handicap for the second year running.
Last year it was David Egan in the saddle aboard John Butler’s three-year-old, but it was William Buick who did the steering this time as the daughter of Pearl Secret got motoring late on to edge out the 40-1 outsider Rage Of Bamby by a neck at the finish.
“She raced on her own, she was drawn right on the stands’ side in 14 on her own and I had to look for the speed that was drawn low,” explained Buick.
“She kind of made her own way down the middle and the second horse was quite a long way away from me. She was doing a lot of work by herself, but she didn’t back down and answered every call.
“On the line I really wasn’t sure who had won it, I thought the way she galloped out after the line she would have been an unfortunate loser.
“I thought she did very well and she’s a very straightforward filly.”
Heather Main’s Zoulu Chief continued to impress when landing the Sky Bet Nursery Handicap under Gina Mangan.
The chestnut has twice caused an upset by winning at a big price, notably taking a Newbury maiden at 150-1 in May and then winning at Windsor last time out at 28-1 – both times by four and three-quarter lengths.
He was not so overlooked on the Knavesmire as he started at 15-2 and made light work of 15 rivals to canter home under a 6lb penalty a length and a half ahead of the favourite, Starlust.
“It’s best to take it a step at a time and give him confidence, but I think it’s time for some Group races,” Main said.
“He’s had a hard week, two races quite close together. You never know when you follow up so quickly.”
Of whether she would consider the Flying Childers at Doncaster, Main said: “I’m half-thinking of it now.”