Dark Power caused a 66-1 shock in the stc 1351 Cup as Frankie Dettori timed his run to perfection to collar Mubtasim in the dying strides in Riyadh.
Trained in Bahrain by Allan Smith, the grey used to be a decent handicapper for Clive Cox, but was taking his form to a new level with some quality horses left trailing in his wake.
James Doyle tried to make all on Mubtasim and for much of the straight it appeared his tactics had paid off.
Only Dark Power seriously had him in his sights and once Dettori sensed victory, success seemed inevitable as the post approached.
Like Mubtasim trained by Charlie Appleby, Glorious Journey made good late headway to take third.
Dettori said after performing his trademark flying dismount: “Sheikh Essa is a friend of mine. I’ve been going to Bahrain for the last five years and I took the ride a month ago.
“I didn’t know what to expect to be honest with you, but this is an amazing feeling. To win a race like this for your mates is a double-whammy. What they’ve done in the space of two months (with the turf course) is remarkable.”
Smith added: “Frankie gave him a super ride. The main thing was getting him settled early on and Frankie just got him slotted in and relaxed.”
In the Mohamed Yousuf Naghi Motors Cup, the opening contest on the Saudi Cup card, Port Lions edged out Deirdre with For The Top close up in third, for another victory for Bahrain.
Trained by Fawzi Nass, the five-year-old arrived on the back of a four-race winning streak, but his form at home was hard to quantify.
As a result, he was sent off an unconsidered 33-1 chance and when he was slowly away from the stalls he looked to face an even stiffer task.
For The Top attempted to nick a few lengths rounding the home turn under an enterprising ride from Mickael Barzalona, but Oisin Murphy had him in his sights on Deirdre, the odds-on Japanese favourite.
The mare was closing with every stride, only for Port Lions, who was formerly trained in Ireland by Madeleine Tylicki, to come flying down the outside under Shergar Cup regular Adrie de Vries.
Nass said: “It feels absolutely amazing to win the first turf race here in Saudi Arabia.
“Of course, we came here with some hope, but to actually accomplish that is amazing. He missed the break quite badly, which didn’t help, but obviously we know he’s got a very nice turn of foot.
“He has just improved and improved. He’s a proper fast-ground horse and has done very well since he came to Bahrain.”
Murphy said of Deirdre, who won the Nassau Stakes at Goodwood in the summer: “No excuses. She jumped well, she travelled good.
“Everything went well except we didn’t win. We got into the right position and on form we would have won easily. It happens, sometimes. The track was very nice and I think they did a great job.”
The international theme continued at the King Abdulaziz Racetrack as Japanese great Yutaka Take stormed to victory aboard Full Flat in the Samba Saudi Derby.
Take was agonisingly denied a double aboard Matera Sky in the Saudia Sprint, as Irad Ortiz Jr swooped right on the line to score with New York Central.