Mon Oberon has just edged out San Andreas in a thrilling final at the stakes of All-Weather Mile Championships conditions in Newcastle.
Trained by William Haggas and paired with Tom Marquand, My Oberon was last seen finishing sixth in the Dubai Turf last month and eventually made his class the 13-8 favourite.
However, it was not as easy a win as expected, with My Oberon forced to go all out by Joseph O’Brien’s Irish raider.
Marquand set him up behind as Tempus kicked off the opening gallop, with Dylan Browne McMonagle adopting a stand-side position aboard San Andreas and taking the lead as Tempus began to falter in the final two furlongs.
My Oberon seemed to travel well, with Marquand coming in between to challenge and take the lead.
But San Andreas proved themselves, getting back together with the pair locked in a duel to the line, with My Oberon winning just by a nose. Bless Him made notable progress after sitting last at the start, before finally being beaten by two and a quarter lengths in third.
The front two came close at the finish, prompting an investigation by the stewards, but the result stood.
Haggas’ wife Maureen said: “It was a worry to come back so soon after Dubai, but this race was worth a lot of money and you can’t pass up opportunities like this.
“He’s probably not the easiest to place, so when you have an opportunity like this to make money with a gelding, you can’t turn it down – we had to try.
“He can take a little break now. I don’t know where he will go – William will take care of it.
“Whether it would make more sense to dodge Royal Ascot and go somewhere a little easier, I don’t know – that’s not my department!
“He’s tough and I think the gelding definitely helped him.”
Marquand said: “He scared me – I thought I was going to win by half a length when I took him off the bridle, but he knows everything he has to do and won’t. much more.
“He won and was very successful in winning because he had a busy month, being in Dubai, which is taking its toll.
“It’s a great training performance to have him come here today and put his head forward because sometimes it’s hard to judge when the horses are traveling.”