Leading Light produced a display of power to take the Ladbrokes St Leger for the most famous father-and-son team in racing.
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Jockey Joseph O'Brien, supplying his father Aidan with his fourth winner of Britain's oldest Classic, settled his mount in second place in the early stages as pacesetter Cap O'Rushes cut out a fairly sedate early tempo.
And although the leader tried to kick on from the front early in the home straight, the winner was always ideally positioned and he struck for home well over two furlongs out.
Galileo Rock, on his outside, tried to go with the winner and may have headed him briefly, but the successful 7/2 favourite simply had too many guns and put clear air between himself and his rivals on the run to the furlong-pole that could not be overhauled.
Talent (8/1), who would not have been suited by the slow early gallop, cruised through the field to try and throw down her challenge to the winner but ultimately couldn't quite find as much as it looked she might. Her chance was also done no good when she was hampered two furlongs out when looking for a gap between rivals.
She stayed on determinedly for second though, a length and a quarter adrift of the winner, and three-quarters of a length ahead of Galileo Rock. Godolphin's Libertarian hit top gear too late and finished fourth.
The winning jockey said: "He jumped a bit slowly and I could see a couple of horses going forward, I knew we weren't going to go much of a gallop so I gave mine a kick just to get up there.
"He's quite lazy in his races, he wears cheekpieces and I got him going plenty early - I knew if I didn't hit him until a furlong and a half out he would win."
In victory, Leading Light helped banish the memories of the defeat of Camelot in the same race 12 months ago for the winning connections.
"You can never be confident about winning a Classic," said part-owner John Magnier. "However we do hold him in high regard and even this morning Aidan was talking about possibly going to the Arc with him. He's not in the race so we'd have to supplement him.
"The sole reason he ran in the Queen's Vase was that we had so many so horses with a lot of options that we had to shuffle the pack. It just so happened that he ended up there - but he's a classy horse."
Sky Bet offer 5/1 about Landing Light winning next year's Gold Cup at Ascot, but William Hill quote 20/1 about him for this year's Arc - although connections would have to stump up the supplementary fee.
Talent's trainer Ralph Beckett refused to be disappointed with his filly's valiant effort to win a second Classic.
"She got tight for room at a vital stage but the winner has won well - of course we would have loved to have had a clearer run, but it was a great run," he said. "I am thrilled to bits with her and I feel like I have won because her run in Ireland was so bad and I still don't really have a reason for it, except the ground.
"We'll look at the fillies and mares race on Champions Day, provided the ground is on the soft side."
Having only decided at 6am to let Galileo Rock take his chance, trainer David Wachman was also pleased enough with the outcome.
"It was probably the right decision to run," he said. "He cannot really handle that ground, but I am happy as he ran a good, honest race. It is more than satisfactory."
Galileo Rock, who was making the frame in his third Classic, is set to stay in training next season.
James Doyle, rider of the disappointing Excess Knowledge, said: "He did everything okay and travelled sweetly, but the minute I asked him to go and run his race he just rolled around on the ground. It was dead and tacky."