Max Vega convincingly won the Dubai Duty Free Finest Surprise Stakes from Newbury for Rob Hornby and Ralph Beckett.
A two-time runner-up on the track, the chestnut did better on his first start of the new campaign by leaving the stalls as a 9-2 shot for the Group Three event, better known as John Porter.
The five-year-old had a clear lead with a furrow to cover then pulled away from his pursuers to win by a length and a quarter over Raymond Tusk.
“He really deserved it today,” Beckett said of the gelding, who hadn’t been victorious since his two-year campaign.
“I thought he had a great run at St Simon last year, he traveled very well and looked like the winner and has just been edged out by today’s favorite (Ilaraab).
“I hardly raced him, you can see he is quite woolly and the ground dries out and he always showed a strong preference for soft ground.
“I was wondering if to declare but he had such a truncated year last year and the horses are there to race – I’m glad I got him to race.
“He’s a pony, we had so much fun with him when he was two and it’s been a long time between drinks – I’m thrilled today.”