Frankie Dettori and Willing Foe ran out a narrow winner of the historic Betfred Ebor at York.
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Having finished third on his seasonal reappearance at Ascot last month, the Godolphin runner was a 12-1 chance for this prestigious one-mile-six-furlong test.
Dettori was always well placed despite his wide draw in a slowly run renewal and he came to throw down his challenge in the home straight.
Irish raider Royal Diamond was always to the fore and stuck to his guns to lay down the most serious challenge but Willing Foe gave Dettori everything to pass the post a neck in front.
Old Newton Cup winner Number Theory ran a huge race for his small yard to take third ahead of the staying-on favourite Motivado for whom the slow pace appeared to be his undoing.
A stewards' inquiry was called soon after the finish but it was later confirmed the placings would remain unaltered.
Dettori said: "It's taken 25 years but my day has come.
"I was a bit worried about the draw but they went slow and it worked out.
"I thought I had a chance but it's the Ebor and I have never won it before.
"I knew I would keep the race (after stewards' inquiry). I did drift over a bit, but I beat the other horse fair and square. I might get a small holiday (suspension).
"This is one of the most important handicaps of the season and now I've conquered it.
"I didn't have many boxes to tick, but this was one of them.
"I know it's only a handicap, but it's a very prestigious race and its always a great crowd here.
"It's a funny old game, 24 hours ago I was sat in a car with the doctor (after a fall)."
Winning trainer Saeed bin Suroor said: "We decided to come here after his last run at Ascot, when he was third.
"We thought a mile and six (furlongs) would suit him well. His last piece of work was really good and it gave us confidence.
"The options are open for him. We'll have a look at everything, but he is a possible for the Melbourne Cup.
"We've got a few in it, but I think the trip would be perfect for him."
Dettori's prediction of a suspension proved accurate as he was banned for two separate offences, two days for careless riding (September 9 and 10) and four days for his use of the whip (September 11-14).
The suspensions mean he is set to miss all but the final day of Doncaster's St Leger meeting.
Niall McCullagh, who rode the runner-up, was also banned for four days for using his whip above the permitted level.