Mostahdaf gave Frankie Dettori a fifth domestic Group One of the season and in the process helped him to become the most successful jockey in the history of the Juddmonte International at York.
In doing so, the legendary rider served up a winner for Sheikha Hissa bint Hamdan Al Maktoum, who joined Dettori in the winner's enclosure.
A sixth triumph in York’s best race helped him go past Lester Piggott and create yet another record in a career that is set to end later this year.
Up against the potential Horse of the Year in Aidan O’Brien’s Paddington, who had beaten Dettori and Emily Upjohn in the Eclipse, he was determined his younger rival was not going to have things all his own way.
In a complete change of tactics from Ascot, when Mostahdaf had been so impressive in the Prince of Wales’s Stakes, Dettori bounded out of the stalls into an early advantage and it was one he would not relinquish with the Italian hailing him as the best 10-furlong horse around.
Afterwards, a delighted Detorri said: “This was a real team effort. I have to thank Angus Gold and Richard Hills (Shadwell’s racing managers), Sheikha Hissa for giving me the ride and John and Thady – and especially Jim, it’s his ride. We all came up with a plan to beat this great horse Paddington. We wanted to bully the race from the beginning. It takes a good horse to do that and he was.”
With his Ascot partner Jim Crowley suspended for his winning ride in the King George, Dettori for once was in the role as super-sub.
He still held a two-length lead two furlongs out but it was then a matter of what was left in the tank, however, by then Paddington was also beginning to paddle and it was the winner’s stablemate Nashwa closing in.
There might not have been much in the locker at the finish, but as he so often has in his storied career, Dettori had ridden the perfect race.
“He’s run over a mile and a half, so he stays a mile and a quarter really well. The key was to get the fractions right, not too slow and not too fast and thankfully after 36 years I got it right,” said Dettori.
“I knew I had got it right because when I looked round I still had two lengths rope, I expected them to be on my quarters and when they weren’t I knew it would take a good horse to catch me now.
“This is my last Ebor meeting, my wife has come along and to be the first jockey to get six Juddmonte Internationals, beating Lester, I couldn’t ask for more."