Golden Sword proved the sharper of Aidan O'Brien's two runners in the Virgin Money Chester Vase today as the 25-1 chance denied his stablemate and red-hot favourite Masterofthehorse on Ladies' Day at Chester.
Colm O'Donoghue set out to make all on the apparent second string, and his front-running tactics worked perfectly as he crossed the line in front of the sell-out stands with two lengths to spare.
Johnny Murtagh sat stone last for much of the race aboard the market leader, but the 13-8 favourite, made rapid strides off the home bend only to find Golden Sword pulling out more to win a shade cosily.
Doctor Fremantle landed the key Epsom trial before going on to finish fourth in last year's Derby, and the winner was given a 40-1 quote by Ladbrokes for the blue riband.
Masterofthehorse was left unchanged at 20-1 by Coral for the Classic, with Cashmans also unmoved at 16-1. Victor Chandler, however, went 14-1 from 20s.
Murtagh said: "Aidan said to me 'I know it is a tight track but I would love to see him dropping in. Get him to relax and get him to finish his race'.
"Colm got three lengths on the turn into the straight and he was able to maintain it.
"It was a good trial, it was a good race and I was very happy with my horse.
"I think we have a very strong bunch of three-year-olds and I think that showed today.
"You have to ride horses for what's best for the horses. Sometimes it turns out and you are great and sometimes you get beaten and you are not. That is part of the business."
O'Donoghue added of the winner: "He ran a good race and a good trial in a Group Two race in France and he is an improving horse.
"It took me an age to pull him up at the end of the race and I think he would have picked up again if anything had come to him.
"Hopefully he can step up again, and we have so many good horses in the yard that they have to compete against each other."
Doctor Fremantle made a successful return to the North West when following up his Vase victory at the meeting last spring in the extrabet.com Huxley Stakes.
The Michael Stoute-trained even-money favourite failed to stay when upped in trip in St Leger at the end of 2008, and proved a short-head superior of Staying On to begin his new campaign in promising fashion.
Winning owner Khalid Abdullah's racing manager, Teddy Grimthorpe, said: "The race wasn't run to suit him as he was forced out wide and got involved in plenty of hustle and bustle.
"He couldn't get into a rhythm and then had to come wide off the bend in to the straight.
"He toughed it out and has got some nice entries.
"A mile and a half will suit him better and we will look at Epsom and Ascot for him now."
A trip to Royal Ascot is firmly marked on the calendar for Fareer after the Richard Hills-ridden 7-2 favourite proved well treated in the Boodles Diamond Eternity Handicap.
Trainer Ed Dunlop commented: "I liked the way he travelled during the race and he may not run again now until the Britannia."
The tight circuit appears to bring out the best in Cheshire Prince and Mark Brisbourne sent him out to capture his fourth race on the Roodee when causing a 25-1 upset in the Boodles Diamond Velocity Handicap.
Brisbourne said: "I genuinely thought he was short of a run. I rode a horse in work behind him on Saturday and he had a good blow.
"I thought this would just put him right for things to come and he's never won this early in the year before.
"His main aim is the Old Newton Cup at Haydock in July."
Money poured onto Metal Soldier all afternoon and the John Quinn-trained 9-1 chance fought his way home in the Moscow Eight EBF Maiden Stakes, while Jamie Spencer struck aboard 7-2 joint favourite Invincible Heart in the Halliwell Jones BMW Z4 Handicap.