Magician rocketed to a sensational victory in the Breeders' Cup Turf at Santa Anita as Aidan O'Brien's charge flew home to snatch victory from The Fugue in the shadow of the post.
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Ryan Moore was at his coolest as he sat towards the rear in the mile-and-a-half contest on the Irish 2,000 Guineas winner, with William Buick bowling along in mid-division on John Gosden's The Fugue, enjoying a perfect passage aboard the Irish Champion Stakes heroine.
Buick appeared to have all bases covered when hitting the front from last year's winner Little Mike, and although Moore began to weave his way through on Magician he had plenty of ground to make up.
O'Brien's colt still looked to have it all to do approaching the business end, but Moore had timed it to perfection, arriving in the nick of time as the line loomed, getting up to win by half a length.
Winning the race for the fourth time, O'Brien said: "Ryan gave him a wonderful ride - a big 'well done' to everyone involved, and especially to the lads for letting me move him up to this trip.
"The week before Ascot he knocked a hind leg in the stable and the trainer had the great idea to put him in the spa. He'd almost gone through his full swim when a sparrow flew in the door and between his ears, which caused him to jump out and bruise both his front legs.
"I probably shouldn't have run him at Ascot (St James's Palace), it was one of those freak things, but when Camelot had a setback a couple of weeks ago we were able to reroute Magician to this race off his long break.
"I've had some great horses (win the race), but this one is a bit different in that he is a Classic winner over a mile. The icing on the cake is that he is by Galileo, who is the most incredible stallion I shall ever have anything to do with. Hopefully he'll come back next year."
Moore, riding his second winner of the night after Dank in the Filly & Mare Turf, was quick to pay tribute to both the winner and connections.
He said: "He's a very talented horse. I rode him at the start of the year and he was a little bit babyish but he came out and won an Irish Guineas, then he had a problem and it's a massive performance, a lot of credit has to go to the horse and obviously the staff at home.
"I had him in a lovely rhythm, nice and relaxed and I think he must be one of the best horses I've ever ridden.
"He's got an awful lot of speed, and even though we had to come wide he really picked up."
Defeat was too much for Buick - who was unlucky on The Fugue in the Filly & Mare last year - and he was in an emotional state when led back to the jockeys' room by owner Lady Lloyd Webber.
Gosden said: "It is understandable how William feels, you have got the race won and then you get caught late, but I guess that is racing.
"He did everything right, but Aidan's horse came wide and was having its first run since June, which made him difficult to assess. But I was delighted with the way my filly ran and hopefully she will come back next year."