Best Solution will head for the Lexus Melbourne Cup in great heart after a tremendous performance in winning the Stella Artois Caulfield Cup.
The Saeed bin Suroor-trained colt was landing his third Group One event in a row and dug very deep to just prevail from Homesman in the tightest of photo finishes.
Given a superb ride by Pat Cosgrave, the Godolphin-owned runner found things against him from the start, missing the break from his wide draw, but was coolly manoeuvred into a good position.
Kicking rounding the turn with two furlongs to run, Cosgrave’s mount answered every call as the challengers loomed large, and got the verdict by a short head.
The Cliffsofmoher (Cliffs Of Moher) was third for Aidan O’Brien, with the Andrew Balding-trained Duretto fourth.
Bin Suroor, who teamed up with Cosgrave to win the Ladbrokes Stakes with Benbatl last weekend, told Racing.com: “It was Sheikh Mohammed’s decision to send him to Australia after he won two Group Ones in Germany and it is a brilliant result for him.
“The horse is doing good and the Melbourne Cup is a big race, it’s another dream for us, but we will try.”
Cosgrave said: “It’s been a wonderful week.
“It wasn’t an ideal start and he was slow away, but I ended up getting a good position halfway down the back straight.
“It was quick early for the first 400 metres, then they dawdled down to the 600 and that’s why I kicked early – my horse is a good stayer.
“He’s been a wonderful horse for me over the last 18 months and hopefully we can go on to Melbourne now.”
He added: “It was a good day today, he toughed it out well. There’s another half-mile to go (in the Melbourne Cup), but we’ll enjoy today first, come back to Melbourne and see how we go.”
There was a sting in the tail, however, for the winning jockey when the stewards suspended him for 11 meetings for careless riding.
Cosgrave did not dispute the charge and opted to serve the ban immediately.
He will therefore not be available for next weekend’s Cox Plate – where Benbatl is scheduled to clash with the mighty Winx – but will be back in time for the Melbourne Cup.