Veracious repelled the late surge of One Master to claim a thrilling renewal of the Tattersalls Falmouth Stakes at Newmarket.
The Sir Michael Stoute-trained filly looked a future Group One winner after finishing third in both the Coronation Stakes at Royal Ascot and the Nassau Stakes at Goodwood last summer, but her first three starts of the current campaign were a shade underwhelming.
However, a change of tactics did the trick on the July Course under a tremendous front-running ride from Oisin Murphy.
A smart start allowed Murphy to bag the rail and Veracious was soon leading her five rivals.
Having been last of all at one stage, the William Haggas-trained One Master cruised into contention under a confident James Doyle – and it looked a case of when rather than if she would claim the lead.
However, 6-1 shot Veracious refused to bend and clung on by a neck, with Aidan O’Brien’s 5-2 favourite I Can Fly almost three lengths away in third.
Stoute said: “She has taken a long time to really ripen and Ryan [Moore] rode her about a week ago and he said she was there now.
“It was a very brave performance and Oisin rode her beautifully.
“She ran very well at Ascot because we tried to switch her off but she was always doing a bit too much and we didn't want that to happen today, so I told him to let her flow and relax.
“We have a lot of choices with her, she is entered in everything, as her owners will shortly find out!
“She is very versatile. I think she can go eight or ten furlongs. She could go for the Nassau Stakes but we don't have to decide today.”
James Doyle, rider of the runner-up, suggested that the ground may have been a little quick for the daughter of Fastnet Rock, admitting: “She is so brave and I travelled into the race well, but she tightened up a bit when I got after her and she didn’t appear to let down on me.”
Her trainer, William Haggas, added: “It was a shame not to win. She is very game, but she doesn’t like fast ground.
“As for plans, I don’t know. Her best trip is seven furlongs, but there are not any seven-furlong Group 1 races until the Prix de la Forêt (at Longchamp in early October), so I don’t know where she’ll run. We will work backwards from that.”
Third home was the Ryan Moore-ridden 5/2 favourite I Can Fly, who had been third in the Duke of Cambridge Stakes at Royal Ascot last time out.
She appeared to be undone by the lack of pace in the race, although her trainer, Aidan O’Brien, was adamant there were no excuses in defeat.
He said: “We are very happy with her. Very happy. It was a very good run.
“There are no plans, but we will see how she is. Ryan [Moore] was very happy and said she ran a very good race – and that was it.
“We are delighted with her, really. The ground was perfect. There are no excuses.”