Arctic Cosmos floored hot favourite Rewilding to win the Ladbrokes St Leger at Doncaster.
Trained by John Gosden and sent off at 12-1, William Buick’s mount showed reservoirs of stamina in the world oldest Classic to deny Midas Touch and the front-running Corsica.
Godolphin’s Rewilding had been the subject of a seismic gamble – reported earlier in the day as having been the best-backed horse of the season – and was sent off the even-money market leader.
But those droves of punters who followed the groundswell of momentum were left on the canvas as Frankie Dettori’s partner failed to show the necessary dash at the finish, looking in trouble a fair way out.
Corsica predictably set a generous gallop in his role as pacemaker to Rewilding, with Ted Spread and Total Command in respective second and third a mile from home.
Rewilding, meanwhile, was fourth from last as they continued the left-handed pursuit towards the final six furlongs.
Corsica was still in front four out, at which stage Arctic Cosmos was spotted travelling beautifully under his young rider.
Gosden’s colt, sporting blinkers for the first time, then usurped the brave front-runner a furlong and a half from home and slalomed readily clear to score by a length and three-quarters.
Runner-up Midas Touch (13-2) ran a stout race for the Ballydoyle team, but was no match for the winner, while the gallant Corsica was another nose adrift.
Rewilding flattered to deceive and sadly failed to land a blow for those many punters who had backed him on Town Moor.
Buick, enjoying a tremendous first season as stable jockey to Gosden, said: ``It's unbelievable, I just can't believe it.
“It’s a very good buzz – I’ve won a Leger on a very good horse.
“He’s been dossing all year, he’s still a big baby.
“We put the blinkers on him to help him concentrate and it’s worked.”
Gosden said: “We’ve always dreamt he was a Leger horse and he’s done it like a proper horse.
“Our dreams have come true and we’re over the moon.”