John Gosden added the Gold Cup to his illustrious CV as Stradivarius claimed an epic renewal of the Ascot feature to provide jockey Frankie Dettori with his 60th winner at the Royal meeting.
Having suffered a surprise defeat with Cracksman in the Prince of Wales's Stakes 24 hours earlier, the pair were back in the limelight after the four-year-old battled on in tenacious fashion to hold Vazirabad by three-quarters of a length in the Group One prize.
Dettori, who missed the ride on last year's winner Big Orange through injury, said: "We didn't go that fast and I wanted to park myself behind Order Of St George.
"Ryan (Moore, on Order Of St George) was in trouble four out, but I thought it could be deceiving because if I attacked him then, he might battle me out of it.
"As I got rid of him, I could see this grey head (Vazirabad). He managed to get within a neck and once he couldn't get past me, I knew my horse was brave and that was it.
"The crowd got behind it. It was mental and I was loving it. To get the three best horses battling it out, you can't get much better than that. Full credit to the horse - he was brave as a lion.
"I've still not got over yesterday and I'm still scratching my head. (Cracksman) under performed, but let's enjoy this moment. It was thrilling to win a Gold Cup in that manner."
As for Gosden, his sights are set on further big-race glory this season.
He said of the 7-4 winner: "He has fought off a very good horse (Order Of St George) and suddenly who comes looming but (Christophe) Soumillon on the Aga Khan's (Vazirabad).
"I thought 'uh-oh, we are going to get clubbed by the French late on'. Luckily he stuck his neck out and went away.
"It is lovely to win it. I've been placed in it, but you have got to have the right horse. He is a dear horse and he is not very big.
"I didn't put him in the King George as win, lose or draw, we were going to go back to the Goodwood Cup, but he is in the Arc.
"The Melbourne Cup is a very attractive idea as well. We've got to get to Goodwood, but let's enjoy today."
Wesley Ward saw his spirits lifted in what was threatening to become a meeting to forget after Shang Shang Shang (5-1) held on by a nose to take Group Two honours in the Norfolk Stakes.
Ward said: "To win this race with a filly is just unbelievable. I come here every year and we were scratching our heads the first two days and we were going back to the beginning wondering if we were in the right place.
"It's a win-and-you're-in (race), so ultimately we want to go to the Breeders' Cup. We'll work back from that."
Aidan O'Brien and Ryan Moore combined to claim a double highlighted by the decisive four-length victory posted by Oaks fourth Magic Wand in the Group Two Ribblesdale Stakes.
O'Brien said of the 100-30 winner: "The ground went unusually soft at Epsom, but she came out of it very well and her work had been lovely since.
"We were hoping on good ground she would be back to the filly we saw at Chester. This filly might go to the Irish Oaks then York, or something like that."
Hunting Horn (5-1) got the ball rolling for the pair when clearing smartly away to take the Hampton Court Stakes by four and a half lengths to give Moore his 50th winner at the Royal meeting.
O'Brien said: "Hunting Horn might have a little rest now and then we might look at the Grand Prix de Paris or the Eclipse.
"He ran a very good race in the trial at Sandown and ran a very big race in the French Derby."