Gerald Mosse proved a more-than-adequate deputy when he steered Grey Britain to glory in the Betway Fairway Stakes at Newmarket.
With his original rider Jimmy Fortune sidelined through injury, the French ace stepped in at late notice to pick up the spare ride on the John Ryan-trained three-year-old.
Sent straight into the lead by Mosse, the son of Arcano showed a tenacious attitude at the head of the field to repel every challenge thrown at him.
Desert Skyline traded blows with the 10-1 chance in the closing strides, but he could not quite muster a way past, with a nose separating the pair at the line.
Ryan said: "Gerald Mosse gave him a super ride. He had never sat on the horse before but he just gave him the ride he needed.
"The horse definitely gets the trip and he probably might get a bit further. I've got my other one (Walter Raleigh) entered in the Derby - I should have entered this one now!
"The ground was definitely a help but he has been running on all sorts as he has been out in Dubai racing on fast ground."
Royal runner Call To Mind finished a creditable third.
The Queen's racing adviser John Warren said: "He is very green still and has a lot to learn.
"It was a good experience and the conditions were right. We will take him back and have a little look and I am sure William Haggas will get his head around the race.
"The inexperience stopped him from getting in a fight.
"When they closed in on him he didn't know what to do. Jim (Crowley) said at the start he was still green. The penny has still not dropped with him.
"I am hopeful he can still develop into a Hampton Court horse if he gets his act together in the next few weeks through some rigorous training."
Taamol (15-8 favourite) took a big step towards booking his place at Royal Ascot next month with a spirited success in the Betway King Charles II Stakes.
The John Gosden-trained Seven Heavens took the field along for the best part of the race before being joined by the eventual winner approaching the final furlong of the Listed heat.
Taamol forged on up the stands side rail and pulled out just enough to repel the late rally of Larchmont Lad by a head to give Sir Michael Stoute and owner Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum back-to-back wins in the race after Thikriyaat struck 12 months ago.
Angus Gold, racing manager to the owner, said: "Obviously we are thrilled to win a Listed race with him.
"He has got a lot of talent but just has that quirk of hanging left. He hung left on his first run and when Jim (Crowley) first went for him this time, he hung left again.
"He has got the job done and obviously the rail has helped. We will obviously talk to Sheikh Hamdan.
"We could possibly go for the Jersey at Royal Ascot, although he might come back to six (furlongs).
"The Jersey would be the obvious next step, though."