Chiefofchiefs benefited from a drop in trip to land the Silver Wokingham Handicap at Royal Ascot and strike for the first time since January 2019.
Having been campaigned over seven furlongs and a mile, connections felt this consolation race for the Wokingham later on the card was the right race to try six furlongs.
They were proved right, as the seven-year-old came with a strong late run to hit the front in the closing stages and give trainer Charlie Fellowes his second winner of the week after Onassis in the Sandringham Stakes.
William Buick bided his time on Chiefofchiefs (20-1), as Vintage Brut set the pace. Nahaarr took over and set sail for home, but he was collared in the last 100 yards.
Chiefofchiefs was in control at the finish to score by a length and quarter, with Burmese Waltz second and Nahaarr a head away in third.
Fellowes said: “That’s the worst training performance you’ll see here all week. He’s a seven-year-old yet that is the first time I’ve run him over six furlongs.
“I’ve called him every name under the sun thinking he wasn’t putting everything in, yet actually it’s all been my fault. All’s well that ends well.
“I’m over the moon for his owner/breeders, who only have a couple of mares. I know how much this will mean to them – we need people like them in the game and I’m over the moon for the lads in the yard to have two winners as the last few months have been tough.
“We put a visor on him in Dubai and Richard Mullen told us we were running him over the wrong trip so we brought him back to six. Also, he has some good runs at Ascot to his name, the track suits him like it does a lot of mine.”
He added: “To have three winners here in two years – I feel very lucky.
“We came here thinking we had two decent chances with King Ottokar and First Prophet. Those two it didn’t fall right for, but I actually had a few quid on this lad as he was 50-1 last night which was a bit insulting.”
On immediate plans for the winner, Fellowes said: “I don’t know whether Goodwood and the July Course would really suit him as they are quite sharp. He loves this track here, it is tailor-made for him as he likes being held up and ridden patiently.
“Whether Goodwood is quite the right track, I don’t know, but they do go hard there. I’m not known for training sprinters, so I need to look at the calendar to see what to go for.”
Buick said: “It’s a stiff six furlongs and in the ground it takes a bit of getting. We went a good pace which suited, we got some nice cover and the race panned out perfectly.
“He had some smart form in the book if you looked back far enough. As long as he didn’t get outpaced early, I fancied him to run well.”