Alenquer continued the dream run of trainer William Haggas as he caught High Definition in the dying strides to land the Tattersalls Gold Cup at the Curragh.
The 10-furlong Group One looked a star-studded event on paper and the contest well and truly lived up to its billing.
Aidan O’Brien’s one-time Derby favourite High Definition set off to make it a real test – and when with three furlongs to run Ryan Moore kicked on and High Definition quickened clear, for a few strides the giant colt looked like he had slipped the field.
Eventually the three main market principals, Lord North, State Of Rest and Alenquer, began to close in and it was Frankie Dettori who led the way on 2-1 joint-favourite Lord North.
His effort began to peter out, though, and Tom Marquand and Alenquer, with State Of Rest a length behind him, loomed with every stride.
While High Definition answered every call, inside the final 100 yards Marquand put his whip down and the 7-2 shot won going away by a neck, with the same back to the other market leader, State Of Rest.
The victory completed a memorable few days for Haggas, who won the Lockinge last weekend with Baaeed, had 10 winners through the week and also won the German Guineas on Sunday with Maljoom.
Coral make Alenquer an 8-1 chance for both the Eclipse and Prince of Wales’s Stakes.
Marquand told RTE: “That’s my first ride in Ireland, I didn’t even know the way to the start an hour ago!
“This horse had a trip over to Dubai in the winter and he ran super over there and we had excuses.
“We always thought we would win a Group One over a mile and a half. Today being a mile and a quarter is hopefully a sign there are better things to come from him.
“He’s hardy and that was a great performance. He really had to dig deep there and it is a stiff last furlong.
“To be honest, I was always really happy. As playful as he might be, he really digs deep when he has to.
“It is wonderful for William Haggas and the team at home because he is not the easiest.”
Maureen Haggas, the trainer’s wife and assistant, said: “He’s a very tough horse and he deserved to win a Group One.
“He was ridden beautifully by Tom. We were late arriving and he said ‘please don’t make me go down first as I don’t know how to get to the start!’.
“He knows him really well and the horse is as hard as nails. The more you ask the more he gives.
“He’s always been a nice horse, but he keeps surprising us a bit. I think ground is important and it is on the slow side here.
“He won over a mile and a half at Ascot last year, but his top-class form is over a mile and a quarter.
“I thought he had a hard enough race today, but looking at him there is not a bother on him.”