Dakota Gold came out on top in a thrilling climax to the Sky Bet Dash at York.
Trained by Michael Dods, the five-year-old finished fifth on his return from eight months off the track at Newcastle four weeks ago and was a 10-1 shot for this £50,000 sprint on the Knavesmire.
There were still plenty in with a chance entering the last of six furlongs, but it was Dakota Gold who pulled out most under a power-packed ride from Connor Beasley to emerge triumphant by a half a length from Muscika.
The winner’s stablemate Jawwaal was just a short-head further away in third.
Dods said: “Dakota Gold is really a five-furlong horse, but the ground came for him, and I couldn’t be more delighted.
“He had an injury at the end of January, and that’s why he didn’t run until the Gosforth Park Cup.
“He showed a good attitude today, and Connor gets on well with him. He’s a good jockey and probably deserves more chances – there’s not many as strong as him.”
The opening race of the afternoon was named in honour of the Dods-trained Get Knotted, who was bidding for a fourth successive victory in the seven-furlong contest.
However, there was to be no fairytale win for the 7-2 favourite – who travelled strongly for much of the way before having to settle for minor honours behind Saeed bin Suroor’s 11-2 shot Bedouin’s Story, ridden by Gabriele Malune.
Dods was nevertheless proud of his charge, saying: “I think the writing was on the wall after a couple of furlongs, because there wasn’t a lot of pace on – and he needs them to be going hard.
“Paul (Mulrennan) said with age he’s getting faster, and we should campaign him over six furlongs now – he said he’s a perfect Ayr Gold Cup horse.
“At least he’s finished in the frame. It would have been a bit disappointing if he hadn’t been, but he’s run a blinder again.”
Abstemious barely came off the bridle on his way to winning the SkyBet Britain’s Most Popular Online Bookmaker Novice Median Auction Stakes.
Runner-up on his debut here a fortnight ago, the gelded son of Mukhadram was the 11-8 favourite to go one better in the colours of the late Guy Reed and could hardly have been more impressive under Jamie Spencer, pulling five lengths clear with the minimum of fuss.
Winning trainer Kevin Ryan said: “I said to Jamie when he rode him first time that the only thing that would get him beat would be greenness and that’s what happened.
“He’s got so much ability and does everything so easily at home, he doesn’t really learn a lot. Today Jamie said they went too fast, he gave him a breather and gave him one squeeze and he took off, which is the sign of a good horse.
“He’s a beautiful horse and it’s remarkable what he’s doing as a two-year-old really. He’s in the Gimcrack and that is the obvious race for him.
“Guy was a wonderful man and the Gimcrack was always a race he wanted to win.”
Always Resolute lived up to his name with a never-say-die display in the Sky Bet Best Odds Guaranteed Handicap.
The Ian Williams-trained eight-year-old looked at the mercy of the strong-travelling Makawee with a couple of furlongs to run, but the 10-1 chance refused to bend and clung on grimly in the hands of 7lb claimer Angus Villiers.
“I thought I was doing too much, but as soon as he got headed he just stayed on,” said the winning rider.
“He’s run his heart out and I can’t believe it. That’s my biggest winner.”
Trainer Mick Easterby and jockey Nathan Evans combined to land the Sky Bet Supporting New Beginnings British EBF Fillies’ Handicap with another 10-1 shot in Ladies First.
The concluding Sporting Life Fast Results Handicap went to the Nigel Tinkler-trained 11-4 favourite Triple Distilled, in the hands of Rowan Scott.