Persian King saw off a strong raiding party to provide trainer Andre Fabre with a record seventh victory in the Prix du Moulin at Longchamp.
A small but select field of six runners went to post for the Group One feature, with Charlie Appleby’s Pinatubo the 5/4 favourite over a mile for the first time.
He was joined on the trip by a trio of Irish challengers in the Ger Lyons-trained Irish 2,000 Guineas hero Siskin and last year’s one-two Circus Maximus and Romanised, trained by Aidan O’Brien and Ken Condon respectively.
Both Pinatubo and Siskin were none too keen to enter the stalls and ended up with plenty to do from an early stage as Circus Maximus and Ryan Moore set a strong gallop in front, with 6/1 chance Persian King his nearest pursuer.
Circus Maximus faltered early in the home straight, which left Persian King nicely clear of his rivals under Pierre-Charles Boudot and that advantage may well have proved crucial.
Once asked to go about his business by James Doyle, Pinatubo displayed the rapid acceleration that was the hallmark of his brilliant juvenile campaign, but it was too late, with Persian King still holding a clear lead at the line.
Circus Maximus boxed on to finish third, with Siskin fourth, the winner’s stablemate Victor Ludorum fifth and Romanised a long last.
Fabre said: “I don’t think it was because of strategy – the best horse on the day won.”
Considering future targets, Fabre added: “We’ve different options, one is the Champion Stakes at Ascot and another is the Arc.”
Enable remains on course for the Arc after her facile success at Kempton on Saturday.
Sent off a 1/14 favourite in the hands of Frankie Dettori, Enable strolled home by seven lengths despite slightly fluffing the start, with her trainer admitting it could well be the last time he will see her run in person, with quarantine restrictions making a trip to France unlikely for him.
Gosden said: “The way the rules are right now, there is no way I’ll be able to be there. I can’t, because we start the yearling sales at Newmarket the following week. I wouldn’t be too good locked in the house for two weeks, that wouldn’t be very good to my owners
“It is very likely, and possible, that I’ve watched her in the flesh for the last time, but only one man decides on that – her owner-breeder (Khalid Abdullah). What he says goes.”