Sleeping Lion came from last to first to claim top honours in the William Hill Mallard Handicap at Doncaster.
James Fanshawe’s charge was a 4-1 shot in the hands of Jamie Spencer and was dropped out at the rear of the six-strong field for much of the extended one-mile-six-furlong contest.
Spencer coaxed his mount into a more prominent position entering the final two furlongs and was in front a furlong later.
Charles Kingsley briefly looked a threat late on, but Sleeping Lion found more once challenged and was ultimately well on top at the line – scoring a shade cosily by three-quarters of a length.
The disappointment of the race was Simon Crisford’s hat-trick-seeking 2-1 favourite Saroog, who could finish only fifth.
Fanshawe said: “We were just getting a bit frustrated with him running in big handicaps. He didn’t get in the Ebor, so we ran him in the two-mile race at York and he never got into it.
“Today with a smaller field and he was able to get a position. He likes to be held up, but he needs a bit of time to get rolling. He picked up in good time today.
“I’m not sure where we’ll go with him. We’ll see what the handicapper does. He’s a really nice horse and he’s shown it today.”