Hukum, in the Shadwell silks and in the presence of team principal Sheikha Hissa, produced a mighty run to land the Group 1 King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot on Saturday.
Trained by Owen Burrows and ridden by Jim Crawley, the six-year-old son of Sea The Stars featured in an epic battle to the line to pip Westover and Rob Hornby by a head to clinch his second prize at the highest level.
King Of Steel finished a further four-and-a-half lengths down in third while Auguste Rodin, the English and Irish Derby winner, ran well below expectations before getting pulled up on the turn for home.
Hukum is a brother to Shadwell’s star miler Baaeed. He won the Coronation Cup, his first Group 1 prize, in June last year and the connections had considered retiring him after he was off the track with a serious injury after that race.
He returned in May to beat the 2022 Derby winner Desert Crown in the Group 3 Brigadier Gerard Stakes at Sandown before heading to Ascot on Saturday.
“I've always believed in him and even last year I said to Owen this could be a King George horse - he's out of his brother's shadow now,” Crawley said at the post-race television interview.
“It's a great training performance by Owen because he was off a year and in fairness to Sheikha Hissa, she persisted with him to bring him back into training. It would've been very easy to retire him as a full brother to Baaeed. She had faith and it's great, that was something special.
“Westover got first run at me but it gave me something to aim at. I had a nice position, I got onto the back of Westover turning in and I just had to hope that somebody didn't come out of the pack. In fairness to the second he didn't lie down, he kept coming back.”
Angus Gold, racing manager for Shadwell, added: "Amazing. Fantastic result, what a lovely horse he is. To come back from a serious injury, they did brilliantly at the stud to get him back and Owen has been really patient with him; fantastic.
“It means a great deal to Sheikha Hissa as you can imagine.”