Century Dream relished testing conditions as he ran out a comfortable winner of the Ladbrokes Celebration Mile at Goodwood.
The Group Two event lost some of its shine when multiple Group One winner Benbatl was pulled out on account of the heavy ground, but Century Dream (11-4 favourite) took full advantage of his absence.
James Doyle was content to sit on the heels of the pace-setting Regal Reality, biding his time before lining up to make his challenge in the straight.
Given the signal with two furlongs to run, Century Dream moved upsides Regal Reality and while that rival tried to go with him, the winner was well on top inside the distance.
Century Dream only had to keep up the gallop to come home four and a half lengths clear, with Sir Busker making notable late progress to take second, with Regal Reality back in third.
Ed Crisford said: “He travelled great. The Stoute horse (Regal Reality) set a nice tempo and he settled in behind and travelled really well, but he just loves this ground and that is key to him.
“Obviously when it is really quite heavy to the extreme, it is who can get through it the best and he is a bit of a mudlark as we know, and he loved it. He travelled so well – it was great and I’m delighted.
“I just like the way he was very settled. He just seemed like he was in the perfect spot and James rode the perfect race on him. I’m really pleased.
“We will look at Group One races over a mile, but we will go wherever the ground is soft. The Moulin looks very punchy this year with Pinatubo, so whether we go there or swerve that, I don’t know.
“He has run well at Ascot before and finished fourth in the Queen Anne and third in the QEII a couple of years ago and he likes Ascot. He runs well there and you are pretty much going to get soft ground.
“Palace Pier, winning the St James’s Palace and in the way he won in France the other day when it was soft, he has shown to be an exceptional three-year-old. We are an older horse and we think we can run well, I think we can serve it up to him, but it would be a tough one.
“We’ve been trying to win a Group Two for a while. Last year he didn’t win a race and we’ve been trying to pick our spots. Often it has been on the wrong ground, but this year it has just fallen right for him.
“To win the Diomed and now the Celebration Mile is fantastic. I think he can run well in a Group One if we pick our spots.”
William Knight was satisfied with Sir Busker’s effort, but may look to drop him slightly in company next time out.
He said: “We all want to win so it is slightly disappointing coming second, but at the same time Century Dream is a good horse, especially on that sort of ground.
“Going forwards, it was good to see him perform well in that sort of company though. He is now rated 111 so that makes life tough in any sort of handicap, so we will have to stick to these type of races.
“I think we would probably drop him back into either a Listed or Group Three race on his next start.”