Litigant is likely to chase Pattern glory next term after foiling a dream farewell for Hayley Turner by landing Saturday’s Betfred November Handicap at Doncaster.
Joe Tuite’s charge was a shock winner of the Ebor at York in August, but he was not unfancied as a 10-1 shot as he dropped back to 12 furlongs on Town Moor.
It looked like being a dream result for Turner as she hit the front aboard Buonarotti on her final ride before retirement.
However, Litigant was delivered with a perfectly-timed challenge by George Baker, starting his run in earnest with around two furlongs to go before defying top weight to win by an eased-down four and a half lengths.
Esteaming claimed third, beaten two and a half lengths, with Mistiroc fourth after steering a wide route in the early stages.
Tuite said: “There’s a lot of satisfaction and a bit of relief as well.
“It wasn’t the plan originally to be in the November Handicap but when we ran at Ascot last time, things just didn’t go to plan at all so we said we would come and give it a go.
“I think he proved today what a good horse he really is. We’ve always said he’s a Group horse and I think that was a Group Two or Three performance today.
“George couldn’t believe how well he was going when he pulled him out, he said he just kept coming.
“He said he could have been clever, but there was no point in that ground.
“We’ve got lucky. We’ve got him right for the Ebor and since the Ebor, there’s been no hurdles. We went to France to run on Arc day and the ground was too fast and it was hard to take him out as we were all there and keyed up to run.
“I said if we ran the horse, we would wreck him and there’s big days in him for us yet, so we had to be patient.
“Then we went to Ascot for Champions Day, we got trapped out wide and it never happened but today it’s come good.”
WOLVERHAMPTON: 4.10 Anginola, 4.40 Passionateprincess (treble), 5.10 Lemoncetta, 5.40 SOLDIER IN ACTION (NAP), 6.10 Brandon Castle, 6.40 Izmir (next best), 7.10 Make Music, 7.40 Essaka.
HUNTINGDON: 1.10 Junior Package, 1.40 Cardinal Rose, 2.10 Shuil Royale, 2.40 Minella Present, 3.10 Brave Deed, 3.40 Certain Time.
LINGFIELD: 1.00 Hollywoodien, 1.30 The Omen, 2.00 Dalaman, 2.30 Mr Fickle, 3.00 Morning Reggie, 3.30 Albatros De Guye, 4.00 Raya Hope.
SEDGEFIELD: 1.20 Mardale, 1.50 Petapenko, 2.20 Take The Cash, 2.50 Tomkevi, 3.20 Amuse Me, 3.50 Broadway Belle.