Carlton House kept alive The Queen's hopes of winning the Investec Derby with a battling success in the totesport Dante Stakes at York this afternoon.
The Michael Stoute-trained colt, giving a strong ride by Ryan Moore, fought off Aidan O'Brien's Seville to score by a length and a half on his seasonal debut.
The pair pulled well clear of Pisco Sour in third.
The 11-4 shot was giving Stoute his sixth win in this Group Two contest.
Moore said: "He has done well there.
"It was a horrible race as they didn't go any pace.
"It's shame, really, because nobody learned a great deal.
"He still showed a very good turn of foot. His work has been very good at home. We were pushed to the start - it was a messy, stupid race.
"It's only his third race and it's a nice race to win."
In a slowly-run race, Pisco Sour set the pace, with both Carlton House and Henry Cecil's World Domination pulling for their head in the first furlong or so.
Jimmy Fortune on the leader took the runners across to the stands side in the straight, at which stage the race began in earnest.
Christophe Soumillon got the rail position on Seville, with Carlton House just in behind the two leaders as Moore waited for a gap.
Once that came, the two protagonists had a pulsating duel and got close for a stride or two before Carlton House showed his superiority to land the spoils.
Stoute said: "I'm very pleased with him. We thought it could be a messy race, and it certainly turned out to be that.
"He learned a bit and I was delighted.
"He went through a tight opening and let's hope he can progress a bit more from that."
Stoute added: "In the early part of the race he was just a little keen, which is uncharacteristic.
"It was very satisfactory for a horse who had only raced twice beforehand.
"We had him ready for this as we couldn't find a race prior to the Dante.
"I would be surprised if the trip was a problem in the Derby."
O'Brien was satisfied with the performance of runner-up Seville.
He said: "It was a very good race and a very good trial.
"We are delighted with our fellow, but the winner picked up better than we did. We can't complain, and the likelihood is he'll go to Epsom."
Connections of the much-vaunted World Domination, who finished fourth, are now cool on the idea of running him in the premier Classic.
Teddy Grimthorpe, racing manager for owner Prince Khalid Abdullah, said: "We are happy enough, but he's still a big baby.
"At this stage I'd say Epsom is unlikely - he might go to Ascot."
Hughie Morrison, trainer of third-placed Pisco Sour, said: "He's run a very good race - better than anyone would have thought.
"We came here thinking the ground would be good to soft, but it ended up being quite quick.
"I thought we might end up running in the Queen's Vase at Ascot, but we obviously have to look at the Derby now."
John Warren, the Queen's racing manager, said of Carlton House: "That was better than I expected as I was slightly pessimistic.
"I loved the way he went through the gap as it shows he'd have no trouble with a course like Epsom where you might get trouble.
"I talked to Her Majesty through the race and she was concerned about the lack of pace but when he went through the gap she let out a yelp!
"I think the fact they went no gallop could benefit him in the long run as he has only raced for three furlongs.
"The Derby hasn't been something we've talked about as he had only won a maiden, but Sir Michael said after Newbury we'd definitely be looking for a trial, which is unusual for him.
"The Queen will be at Epsom and this will mean a lot to her.
"It is fantastic for racing and if she can help the industry, all the better."