SPANISH Mission was in a league of his own as he bagged the Doncaster Cup on Friday.
Andrew Balding's four-year-old said 'adios' to his rivals at the two-furlong pole and put the race to bed in a matter of strides.
It was a significant win for the colt, who had appeared a suspect stayer at 2m in the past.
But he is now 2-2 since moving to Balding's from David Simcock, and this victory opens up all sorts of doors going forwards.
The Grand Visir (10-1) tried to make it a true test of stamina over the unique 2m2f trip, but 6-4 favourite Spanish Mission was always travelling kindly under William Buick.
He loomed up just over two furlongs out and unleashed the weapon his opposition were severely lacking – a change of gear.
He was three lengths clear of Selino (12-1) at the line, with The Grand Visir plugging on for a distant third.
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Balding said: "I thought it was an excellent performance – I'm delighted to have a horse of his calibre in the yard. He looks like he could be a Gold Cup contender next year, which is very exciting."
Paddy Power cut Spanish Mission to 8-1 from 12-1 for the Qipco British Champions Long Distance Cup at Ascot on October 17.
Balding added: "That is really the only race for him if he is going to run again this year, but the ground might have gone too soft for him by then, so we'll see.
"I'm just delighted with his performance today and thrilled to have a horse like him in the yard."
Earlier on the card, Ubettabelieveit caused a huge 40-1 shock in the Group 2 Flying Childers.
The Nigel Tinkler-trained speedster stormed home late to catch the favourite Sacred in the final strides.
Tinkler said: "He showed how good he was in the National Stakes at Sandown – he's a very, very good horse.
"Last time, I probably shouldn't have run him over six there. He ran too keen, and the ground was horrific.
"Everything went wrong, but luckily Oisin Murphy looked after him. But he's a very good horse, and I don't often say that.
"How he was 40-1 – it was probably because I trained him! National Stakes winner, 40-1 for this, unbelievable.
"You're always wondering at this time of year, quite a long season – 'is it too late in the year'? But he was working well, and this is brilliant. He was given a fantastic ride by the jockey."
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