Leading National Hunt trainer Jonjo O’Neill claimed the Ascot Stakes at Royal Ascot as Well Sharp carried the familiar silks of JP McManus to a determined victory.
All the talk before the race surrounded 4-1 favourite Tiger Cliff, aiming to give Lady Cecil a poignant winner following the death of her husband, legendary trainer Sir Henry Cecil, last week.
The pace was unsurprisingly sedate in the early stages of the two-and-a-half-mile stamina test, but gradually quickened as they headed down the back straight the final time.
Well Sharp (9-1) emerged from the pack in the hands of Fran Berry and saw out the marathon distance well to score by two and a half lengths.
Tiger Cliff was a long way back rounding the home turn under Tom Queally and although he was making ground hand over fist in the home straight, it was all too late and he had to make do with an honourable second.
Tiger Cliff’s owner, Henry Ponsonby, also had the third home – the Nicky Henderson-trained Lieutenant Miller.