Ryan Moore on Magician edges out William Buick on The FuguePICTURE: Jeff Gross/Getty Images
Magician stuns The Fugue in late Turf grab
Report: USA, Saturday
Santa Anita: Breeders' Cup Turf (Grade 1) 3yo+, 1m4f
RYAN MOORE rode Magician as if believing in the power of magic and his late, late swoop paid off with a dramatic last-ditch victory over red-hot favourite The Fugue.
Moore sat way off the pace on the Irish 2,000 Guineas winner as last year's winner Little Mike sat in second and The Fugue travelled sweetly under William Buick in the middle of the pack.
Heading out of the home turn and into the straight Little Mike took it up but Buick encouraged his mount to respond and she surged into the lead halfway up the straight.
Victory to ease the pain of a troubled run in defeat last year looked assured for The Fugue and her partner as the wire approached, but then out of the corner of the eye came Magician.
Roused into a formidable late surge by Moore, the Aidan O'Brien-trained colt made light of an absence since Royal Ascot and his first attempt at the trip to run down The Fugue in an incredible rush to the line.
Buick had no chance of conjuring a response and was later seen in tears after adding a second place on the evens favourite to last year's third. Indy Point stayed on for third.
John Gosden, who trains The Fugue for Lord Lloyd-Webber, said: "The horse has come awful late and she has not had a chance to come back at her. Full marks to Aidan as the horse has not run since June.
"We got the race done and got caught late. That's racing."
The 7-1 winner was a second on the day for Moore who had earlier won the Filly & Mare Turf on Dank.
Moore said: "He got a bump on the turn and lost his back end. Once I got him balanced he levelled off he really quickened. He has an awful lot of gears. He quickened like a very good horse. I was just a bit worried by the trip.
"The Fugue is a very good filly. She had beaten all the good ones this year. This lad came in fresh after a long lay-off and put up a very good performance."
Moore suggested that victory had eased the pain of being caught in the closing stages of the Juvenile Turf a day earlier on the O'Brien-trained Giovanni Boldini, second to his late-finishing British rival Outstrip.
"It nearly makes up for yesterday," he added.
O'Brien paid tribute to winning owners Michael Tabor, Derrick Smith and John Magnier, saying: "It was the lads' idea to give him a chance to come here. I was afraid to make the decision but they made the decision and well done to them for doing it.
"I just thought and worried he could get very exposed but obviously he is a very good horse."