Snow Sky gave trainer Sir Michael Stoute his eighth Neptune Investment Management Gordon Stakes as the first of the significant Ladbrokes St Leger trials took place at Goodwood.
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Only one of those, Conduit in 2008, went on to success in the Doncaster Classic and Khalid Abdullah's colt is 14/1 with Sky Bet after holding on by a neck and a head from the closing Windshear and the determined front-runner Somewhat.
Snow Sky (9/2), who won the Lingfield Derby trial but missed Epsom due to a knock, struggled to run straight and true for James Doyle but did enough to hold on.
Doyle and Abdullah were to enjoy an even bigger victory later in the afternoon through Kingman in the Qipco Sussex Stakes.
Teddy Grimthorpe, the owner's racing manager, said: "I think he possibly saw that kink in the rail by the winning post, but he changed his legs and stayed on.
"The great man (trainer Sir Michael Stoute) isn't here today, so I'll have to talk to him, but I'd have thought the Voltigeur at York would be an option and we'll take it from there."
Asked about the St Leger, Grimthorpe said: "He's got stamina in his pedigree and he stays a mile and a half. There's always an element of chance when they have to go further than that."
Trainer Mark Johnston, responsible for the third-placed Somewhat, who took the same place in the Coral-Eclipse, said: "Joe (Fanning) felt maybe he could have gone a bit quicker, but there are no complaints.
"As soon as he passed the line I tried to remember if he had a Leger entry, he does, and we'll have to look that way.
"Hartnell is likely to go to the Voltigeur, so we'll have a think what we do with Somewhat."