Steve Drowne landed his first Group One since 2007 when Robert Cowell's flying filly Jwala caused a 40/1 upset in the Coolmore Nunthorpe Stakes at York.
- Related Content
One of the more popular members of the weighing room, Drowne has endured more ups and downs in his career than many since Sakhee's Secret struck in the July Cup six years ago and the closely-knit racing community were delighted to see him back in the limelight.
The 41-year-old missed the majority of last season after being misdiagnosed when he fainted at home, and it was not until the intervention of his local MP which hastened his return to the saddle.
Drowne partnered Jwala to success in a Listed race at York last month, previously his biggest winner of the season, but this eclipsed that by some distance.
She had bashed her head on entering the stalls for the King George Stakes at Goodwood and ran concussed. But for that, she would surely have been a shorter price here.
The two fastest horses in the world, Shea Shea and Sole Power, who are never separated by much when they take each other on over five furlongs, both closed inside the final furlong, but Jwala held on by half a length, with Shea Shea a nose ahead of his old rival.
"She had a tough time last time. She got upset in the stalls and knocked herself silly. She didn't go a yard and tailed off," said Drowne.
"Thank God they found a reason - she'd nearly fractured an eye socket - and she's bounced back here. Everybody knows what problems I've had but you just need the right horses and thankfully she's come along.
"I spent five months being misdiagnosed, the problem should only have kept me out for two weeks and if it wasn't for my MP Claire Perry I could still be watching at home. It was so frustrating, I had to start again from scratch."
Cowell has carved out a niche as a great trainer of sprinters and despite having Spirit Quartz and Kingsgate Native at a shorter price, revealed she was his first pick.
"She's a grand filly and only finished a length behind Sole Power last year as a three-year-old at Doncaster in a Listed race," said Cowell.
"It wasn't a surprise. I thought she was my best chance, but I'd gone nearly four weeks without a winner until this week. She'll run in the Prix de l'Abbaye (Longchamp, October 6) and then be retired."
Frankie Dettori thought the rain overnight had dented Shea Shea's turn of foot, while trainer Mike de Kock still has not ruled out staying in Europe for a crack at the Abbaye - though the likelihood of soft ground in Paris makes it a long shot.
"I think the rain took the edge off him, but I don't want to make excuses," said De Kock.
Dettori was given a two-day ban (September 6 and 8) for using his whip above the permitted level.