Spanish Mission made his stamina count to take the Group Two honours in the Matchbook Yorkshire Cup at York.

The five-year-old asserted in the closing stages to be a clear-cut winner over Santiago and Sir Ron Priestley, in the hands of William Buick.

Andrew Balding's globetrotter was having his third run of the year, after racing in Saudi Arabia and Dubai in the winter.

Buick had the 11-2 shot, winner of last year’s Doncaster Cup, at the back of the five-runner field as Wells Farhh Go made the running from Sir Ron Priestley.

There was little change in the order until in the straight when Wells Farhh Go weakened after being off the track for 587 days.

Sir Ron Priestley hit the front but could not put the race to bed and faded in the final furlong.

That left Spanish Mission to come home two and a three-quarter lengths clear of Santiago – with favourite Sir Ron Priestley only third.

The winning trainer’s wife Anna Lisa Balding said: "We’re absolutely delighted – it’s wonderful for the owners and Andy who looks after him.

"They couldn’t go to Saudi, so it’s great they’re here today."

She confirmed too that a move back up in trip from this mile and three-quarters will be Spanish Mission’s next assignment, at Royal Ascot.

"Ascot’s obviously the plan, the Gold Cup," she said.

"William was very impressed with him – what a lovely horse to have on the yard.