Alpinista (7-2F industry price, 33-10F PMU) gave trainer Mark Prescott and jockey Luke Morris the biggest success of their respective careers by landing the Qatar Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe at Longchamp.
The Kirsten Rausing-owned mare travelled sweetly in the testing ground and was always well placed as Japanese hope Titleholder set a good pace.
The five-year-old was last off the bridle as Morris sat chilly and, giving the mare her head approaching the final furlong, Alpinista stayed on stoutly to fend off the late thrust of Eclipse winner Vadeni and last year’s winner Torquator Tasso, who flew late from a wide draw under Frankie Dettori.
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Prescott told Sky Sports Racing: "It's absolutely marvellous but the last 100 yards absolutely killed me. Such a relief she held on.
"Luke has ridden for us for 11 years and Miss Rausing has had horses with us for 36, so I’m very lucky. I trained her grandmother so it’s hard to think of a better day.
"This is a wonderful change to have one who can really go and she’s just been perfect."
Morris said: "I had a beautiful draw in stall six and after being perfectly placed, there was a second when I thought we were getting drawn into it too early.
"But once she had taken charge, I was able to sit on her from 100 metres out.
"All credit to the staff at home I’m just the guy that sits on the horses a few times each year.
"I was concerned when all that rain came but the race went very smoothly – I couldn’t believe how it could have in a 20-runner Arc. It was incredible."
Rausing dangled the possibility of a further run this year when she said: "She will come back to our stud next year. As for the Breeders’ Cup or the Japan Cup, we want to go home and talk about it."
Georges Rimaud, racing manager to Vadeni’s owner, the Aga Khan, said: "We were very pleased with his run and we were obviously beaten by a very good opponent.
"Christophe (Soumillon) had a good run through the whole race and thought he was going to win, but the mare found more.
"He’s proved he stays the trip in soft ground, so we will go away and discuss what will happen in the next few days."
Dettori said of Torquator Tasso: "He finished really strong and ran a super race. The draw didn't help but it’s his style of racing to run on the outer.
"I thought for a moment I might get to them, but they were too strong for me."
Aidan O’Brien confirmed the unplaced Luxembourg pulled a muscle.
"Obviously he got stuck in the ground, he pulled a muscle off his near-hip," he said.
"He’s sore enough now, hopefully we can take him home but he’ll be sore enough for a while. It will heal in time and hopefully we can look forward to next season. I’d say that will almost certainly be it this season."