Frankie Dettori was denied a sensational five-timer when he was caught close home on Turgenev by Biometric in the Britannia Handicap at Royal Ascot.
Dettori was always in the driving seat on Turgenev, who was backed down to 7-2 favourite after the mercurial Italian had taken the first four races.
He kicked on a long way from home, but was reeled in by Harry Bentley on 28-1 chance Biometric – to save the bookmakers from further punishment and preventing Dettori being a race away from going through the card.
Ralph Beckett’s charge crossed the line a length and a quarter to the good, with Fanaar two lengths away in third and Awe fourth.
Beckett said: “We were the only people on the racecourse shouting.
“He was flat out at halfway. He’s had a slightly unorthodox prep as he had to have a third run to qualify and the only option I really had was a six-furlong novice at Lingfield.
“It wasn’t the plan to be that far back, but they went hard. It all fell into place and I’m absolutely delighted.
“At the three pole I thought we were going to be last or they’d gone too hard.
“He’s always been a sleeper, not a flashy worker. He was an immature two-year-old, had a little issue and never ran. It’s great and I’m thrilled.”
Bentley said: “I’ve been riding here a long time and have had quite a few rides here over the years, so it’s so good to get on the board.
“It’s so tough. Any meeting at Ascot – not only the Royal meeting – it’s incredibly hard to ride winners here, just because of the competitiveness of the races. It’s so special – a day I won’t forget.
“I know I’ve upset a few people there, so I’m probably not the most popular winner of the day!”
Aidan O’Brien mopped up the concluding King George V Stakes by saddling the first three in the mile-and-a-half handicap for three-year-olds.
South Pacific (22-1), ridden by Seamie Heffernan, led home his brigade after producing a neat turn of foot in the final furlong.
Constantinople was just a neck behind his stablemate in second, with Eminence completing the trio a further length and three-quarters away. Persian Moon was fourth.
O’Brien, saddling his fourth winner of the week, expects more improvement from all three horses.
He said: “The winner is a lovely horse, a progressing horse. He’s happy at a mile and a half and will get better. He might stay further.
“I was delighted with the second horse, he’s only a baby. For him to do that under top-weight, and the third horse the same. He’s a big horse.
“They would all progress, I’d imagine. They ran off nice marks. The second horse won a Group race last time.
“We might stay at a handicap next with them and progress after that. We’ll see.”