Highland Reel toughed out a thrilling victory in the Prince of Wales's Stakes on the second day of Royal Ascot as rival Jack Hobbs flopped.
The richest race of the week on another baking hot Windsor day was billed as a two-way battle for supremacy between Godolphin-owned Jack Hobbs and the Aidan O'Brien-trained Highland Reel.
But the reality was very different, Scottish acting as pacesetter with Highland Reel, Ulysses and Decorated Knight for company in a bunched pack.
However, when push came to shove, it was Highland Reel - ridden by Ryan Moore - that showed true class, kicking on out of the crowd to power towards a brilliant victory ahead of Decorated Knight and Ulysses.
It marked a second Ascot triumph following a win in last year's King George, but it was an off day for Jack Hobbs - a victor against a last-placing Highland Reel in rain-affected conditions in March's Dubai Sheema Classic - who came home last of the eight-strong field.
Highland Reel, Ryan Moore and Ascot.-- Ascot Racecourse (@Ascot) June 21, 2017
A match made in Group One heaven.
For the second year running, Qemah - victor in the Coronation Stakes 12 months ago - enjoyed Royal Ascot success with victory in the Duke of Cambridge Stakes.
The Jean-Claude Rouget-trained filly, ridden by Gregory Benoist, hit the front and stayed on well to fend off the fast-finishing Aljazzi, while Godolphin-owned Usherette - last year's victor - finished third but was largely stuck against the rail and never really threatened.
It was not the only French success on Wednesday, as the Andre Fabre-trained Le Brivido was victorious in the opening Jersey Stakes. The 9-4 favourite held off the challenge of valiant outsider Spirit of Valour to take the win by a head.
Heartache was a decisive victor in the Queen Mary Stakes, beating the heavily backed Happy Like A Fool.