Royal winner of Long Distance Cup
Royal Diamond was a shock winner of the QIPCO British Champions Long Distance Cup at Ascot.
Estimate had been sent off a warm 2/1 favourite for the two mile contest but having travelled well, the Queen's filly suddenly came under pressure with half a mile to travel as the race began to take shape.
Harris Tweed may have got the battle of the early pace but having failed to stay two miles at York previously, George Baker elected not to tear away from his rivals on William Haggas' six-year-old and he took the runners along at an even but not particularly generous pace, as High Jinks, Times Up and Ahzeemah all waited in his slipstream.
Eye Of The Storm was to emerge from the pack as they started to quicken with three furlongs to go and Aidan O'Brien's three-year-old looked as if he had been brought with a race winning run but Johnny Murtagh utilised every year of his experience to gradually deliver the 20/1 chance into the contest, and he produced him perfectly to wrest the spoils from the long-time leader deep inside the final furlong.
Pale Mimosa and Saddler's Rock kept on well from a long way back to be never nearer as Estimate consented to plug on again without posing a threat to the first three home.
An emotional Murtagh said: "This is the best day of my life.
"I can't thank everyone enough for giving me the horse and trusting me with him.
"He's been a brilliant horse from day one. I'm privileged to ride so many great horses, but it's all about my staff and my team.
"He's all heart, this horse."
Owner Andrew Tinkler said of the evergreen Murtagh: "I think what makes him so good is that he's a workaholic and he gets into the horses' heads.
"He understands them, he rides them every morning and his confidence fetches him through.
"In horse racing this is the best day of my life. We had Dubawi Gold second in two Guineas but to win the first race at Champions Day with a horse we didn't think was going to be anything, well nothing can top that.
"We decided against the Melbourne Cup and brought him here and won - you can't beat that."
William Haggas felt Harris Tweed put up a career-best performance in defeat.
He said: "I couldn't be more proud of him. He ran his guts out. I thought they would be on him quickly.
"It was his best run ever and he was beautifully ridden.
"He's going to have a long holiday."
George Baker rode Harris Tweed and said: "He's run an admirable race. I was concerned about the two miles but he's only just got caught."
"He's run a blinder. It was frustrating, but it was a very good run."
Aidan O'Brien said of Eye Of The Storm: "We're delighted with the run, especially as he's a three-year-old.
"He missed most of the first half of the season but he's been busy recently.
"He'll be a lovely staying horse for next year."
Following the performance, Sky Bet put in Royal Diamond at 16/1 for the 2014 Ascot Gold Cup.