Dubai Station booked his ticket for the Commonwealth Cup by gamely holding off Malotru in the Betway Pavilion Stakes at Newcastle.
Karl Burke’s three-year-old looked promising early last season when placed at Royal Ascot in the Norfolk Stakes and then finishing third behind French superstar Earthlight.
However, in two further runs he failed to reproduce that form but Burke subsequently reported that he had valid excuses for those efforts.
Nevertheless, he was sent off 10-1 in the Listed race, usually run at Ascot, due to plenty of strength in depth.
A’Ali, winner of the Norfolk last season, Richard Fahey’s Ventura Rebel and Marco Botti’s Malotru all appeared to hold stronger claims on the form book.
Drawn in stall 13 near the usually unfavoured stands rail, Ben Curtis decided to keep a true line and it paid dividends as he found himself in front fully two furlongs out.
Fleeting Prince, Dream Shot and last of all Malotru, who met trouble in running, threw down challenges but Dubai Station held on by a diminishing neck.
“He’s a very good horse, he shows us that on the gallops at home as he does a lot of his work with Lord Of The Lodge and probably has a better turn of foot than him,” said Burke.
“We knew we had a horse but he had a few niggles last year and we had to iron them out in the winter, just cleaning up a couple of joints, but he’s given us no problems since.
“It’s great for the owner (Ahmad Alshaikh) because he nearly sold him but we persuaded him to keep him.
“He showed plenty early last year and wouldn’t want the ground too soft, it was slow enough today so we’ll go to Ascot and hope for fast ground in the Commonwealth and he’ll go with a chance.
“He might get seven furlongs but he’s got too much speed for a mile. Ben said he was just hanging on at the end but he had to commit him early when the gap came.”
The winner was introduced at 16-1 for the Commonwealth Cup by Betfair.