Toronado justified the unwavering faith of his connections when pouncing late to gain his revenge on Dawn Approach to win the Qipco Sussex Stakes at Goodwood.
Kevin Manning made an early bid for home on the 2000 Guineas winner Dawn Approach, kicking clear with two furlongs to run on the Jim Bolger-trained colt.
First to challenge was Declaration Of War but he soon cried enough, before Richard Hughes made his move on Toronado having travelled particularly strongly in behind the principals.
Such was the late surge of Toronado, who had been fourth to Dawn Approach in the Guineas and beaten a short head in the St James's Palace Stakes a Royal Ascot, the 10-11 favourite had little chance to battle back.
In the end, Richard Hannon's 11-4 chance ran out a cosy half-length winner.
Hannon said: "Revenge is sweet I suppose, but they are two great horses.
"Richard Hughes said the other morning when he worked him that he was the best he had ever ridden. We've had some good horses, but he's very good."
Jockey Hughes said: "(That) was very sweet. Just when I kicked him in the belly, it wasn't as instant on that ground as it would have been on fast ground.
"It was a great race and he was very brave, he's brilliant.
"It was a true-run race and he was always travelling well but as I say, when I went to go it wasn't quite as instant as it was in the mornings."
"Richard Hughes said...he was the best he had ever ridden" - Hannon
Hannon was asked if the QEII would be the next target and said "it could be" before dismissing the Breeders' Cup as an option.
Richard Hannon junior, assistant to his father, said: "We are delighted to have won one and the fact we didn't win the first two makes it that bit sweeter, I suppose.
"I don't think he quite picked up like we expected on the ground. Dawn Approach kept going after hitting the front, he's amazingly tough.
"What he does at home is clearly not normal, he's unbelievable.
"We were concerned about the ground as he's such a good-actioned horse and we thought it might not be in his favour, but we wouldn't change anything now.
"It's going to be a great episode if both go on to the QEII. Godolphin and John Ferguson were the first to come up and say 'well done'."
Bolger offered no excuses, conceding that Toronado was a deserved victor.
He said: "It was a top performance and we were just beaten by a better horse on the day.
"I'm not concerned about rematches. We still have to figure out where we go from here - whatever turns up, turns up.
"There are a couple of possibilities but time will tell all."