The Tin Man had to survive a nervy stewards' inquiry before being confirmed the winner of a thrilling Diamond Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot.
James Fanshawe's charge had previous over the course and distance having landed the British Champions Sprint last October, but needed to raise his game after finishing fifth on his reappearance in last month's Duke of York Stakes.
Sent off at 9-2, he was waited with by Tom Queally before launching his challenge against the far rail in the final furlong.
The Tin Man responded to join Duke of York victor Tasleet and 2-1 favourite Limato in a three-way battle for supremacy and after some scrimmaging – in which Limato was the meat in the sandwich as the winner came off the rail – Fanshawe's charge prevailed by a neck.
Tasleet was three-quarters of a length in front of Limato in second and although the stewards looked into possible interference late in the piece and called in the jockeys, the placings remained unaltered, with Ryan Moore, the rider of Limato, admitting in the televised coverage that while his mount was squeezed for room, his chance “was gone at that point.”
Fanshawe said: “I'm a very relieved man and I'm very grateful to The Tin Man for putting up a fantastic performance, to Tom, who gave him a great ride, and everyone back at home.
“These are the horses you need. The Tin Man is a star horse and we're lucky to have him.
“There's no place like Royal Ascot and training Group One winners here is great. I'm just enjoying today, but he's in the July Cup so we'll see how he is over the next few days.”
With a nod to the impressive performance of Caravaggio in the Commonwealth Cup on Friday, he added: “It will be interesting when the four-year-olds meet the three-year-olds, as they look a good bunch.
“He is great for the yard and a great horse to have. I'm sure we will meet with Caravaggio at some point this year and let's just hope The Tin Man is in one piece when they do meet up.”
Queally, best known for partnering the great Frankel to each of his 14 career wins including two victories at Royal Ascot, was delighted to be back in the famous winner's circle.
He said: “It's very hard to get a ride here and it's ever harder to ride a winner. I'm riding as good now as I was then (when Frankel was racing) and I will be for a few more years.
“He (The Tin Man) is a good horse in this division and he showed his authority there. It's not life or death but it's nice to get a winner here.”
Tasleet's trainer William Haggas said: “I'm delighted with the way the horse ran.
“To run on fast ground today and soft ground last time (at York) shows that I've been an idiot not running him over six furlongs before now.
“I think in the last furlong it was one of those things. Jim (Crowley) said there was one hell of a headwind and they were blown all over the place. I'll just have to swallow that.”
Henry Candy said of Limato: “Ryan just said he ran a brilliant race. He thought he was as good as ever. I thought the fact the other two had a better preparation might have made a difference but Ryan didn't think that was a cause.
“It was a high-class race and I'm delighted with the way he ran. Having not run for a long time he will come on for that.
“It will be a toss up between the July Cup and the Lennox Stakes (Goodwood). I think Ryan was rather in favour of the July Cup which is quite surprising as he'll be on Caravaggio.
“I think Ryan takes the view he (Limato) is a sprinter. I know he gets seven as he's won the Foret and been second in the Foret. We'll think about that one.”
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