Donjuan Triumphant lunged late to claim a poignant victory in the Qipco British Champions Sprint at Ascot.
A field of 17 runners went to post for the six-furlong contest, with the William Haggas-trained mare One Master and Martyn Meade’s Advertise the joint-favourites at 4-1.
There were still several in with chances as the leaders raced inside the final furlong, with Denis Hogan’s remarkable improver Make A Challenge – rated just 66 prior to six wins this season – looking the most likely winner after hitting the front.
However, he was swamped by four runners as the post loomed and it was Andrew Balding’s 33-1 shot Donjuan Triumphant who had his head in front where it mattered, scoring by a length in the hands of Silvestre de Sousa.
Turning out just under a fortnight after claiming a second successive victory in the Prix de la Foret at ParisLongchamp, One Master ran a fine race to fill the runner-up spot, with Forever In Dreams and Brando close-up in third and fourth respectively.
The win comes a year on from the tragic death of Leicester City owner Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha, who founded King Power Racing, in whose blue and white colours Balding’s charge runs.
Balding said: “He’s always come good in the autumn and I thought he ran a really good race last time behind Cape Byron, because he fluffed the start and things didn’t go to plan.
“He was third in the race last year and he’s such a legend – it’s fantastic for King Power to win their first Group One race, there were a couple of anxious moments, but Silvestre managed to get himself out.
“I’m just so thrilled for the horse as he was the first horse the chairman ever bought – he’d be so proud right now.”
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