Valdermoro got up close home to grab a taking victory in the Tattersalls Acomb Stakes at York.
The Richard Fahey-trained colt gradually wore down Harpocrates to land the Group Three prize, after Aidan O’Brien’s charge looked like making virtually all the running.
Yorkshire Gold was smartly out of the stalls, as was Harpocrates, with Ryan Moore keeping the son of Invincible Spirit towards the far side of the track.
Persuasion, the 5-2 favourite, threatened towards the near side but he faded tamely as the race hotted up.
In contrast, Valdermoro (9-2) responded to Tony Hamilton’s urgings to get the verdict by a neck, on just his third racecourse appearance. Ropey Guest was third, two and a half lengths away.
Paddy Power gave the Declaration Of War colt a quote of 25-1 for the 2000 Guineas with Paddy Power, and Fahey said: “He’s a horse we do like a lot, we’ve made some fancy entries and I was feeling the pressure today.
“I was a little bit worried the Aidan O’Brien horse might have nicked it, but it was nice to see him go and do it.
“He has loads of big entries and we’ll see how he is. We maybe wouldn’t want to run him on ground too soft as he is such a good moving horse.
“We’ve always liked him. Today was seven furlongs and the ground was soft enough for him and they didn’t go a great gallop.
“I think he’d go further – I’d like to step up to a mile.”
O’Brien said of the runner-up, who seemed to thrive in first-time blinkers: “I’m delighted, he ran a really good race.
“He’s a horse that is still progressing, but I’m delighted with his run really.”