Thundering Blue could challenge for the Juddmonte International after storming home late to take the Group Two honours in a thrilling race for the Sky Bet York Stakes on the Knavesmire.
Runner-up in the John Smith’s Cup over the same course and distance two weeks ago, Thundering Blue went one better to give his trainer David Menuisier his biggest success.
Elarqam set out to make all the running in a bid to get his back on track following a disappointing run in the Irish 2,000 Guineas, when he was found to be off-colour afterwards.
He led well into the final furlong, but just could not quite last home and was nabbed in the last 50 yards.
Fran Berry got the grey Thundering Blue (5-1) past the post first by a neck from Brorocco, with Elarqam a further neck away in third.
Menuisier said: “I can’t believe it. I’m still in shock. He’s now five, but he just keeps improving and improving.
“We were very unlucky here last time, so this is our revenge. He takes every yard of that trip to come and win, but there’s something about York that he loves, so why not (run in the Juddmonte)?
“That was my first Group winner so it’s a dream.”
Fourth in the Guineas at Newmarket, Elarqam was trying 10 furlongs for the first time.
Richard Hills, representing owner Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum, said: “He didn’t appear to stay by the looks of that.”