Twice Over (9) obscures Questioning as the pair flash past the linePICTURE: Edward Whitaker (racingpost.com/photos)
Questioning pips Twice Over to land Sefton
Report: Newmarket, Thursday
Weatherbys Earl of Sefton Stakes (Group 3) 1m1f, 4yo+
QUESTIONING edged out favourite Twice Over in a head-bobbing finish at Newmarket on Thursday.
A stewards' inquiry was called into possible interference between the first and second home but the placings remained unaltered.
It was the long-absent Titus Mills that was keen to lead in the early stages with last year's winner Ransom Note for company on the rail, while Twice Over raced up the middle of the course behind the leaders.
The seven-year-old Twice Over was moved closer to the pace with five furlongs to run and went to the lead running into the Dip.
Behind him Afsare was travelling strongly for Jamie Spencer as 10-1 shot Questioning and Beatrice Aurore started to respond to their riders' urgings.
Afsare failed to pick up as promised and Twice Over stuck his head down and battled gamely towards the line, challenged on both sides by Questioning and Beatrice Aurore.
Running to the line it was neck-and-neck between Twice Over and Questioning with the horse trainer Sir Henry Cecil calls his best friend looking like he might just hold on.
But in the final strides Questioning's jockey William Buick forced the John Gosden-trained winner's head in front to claim the prize by a head with Beatrice Aurore a length and three quarters further back in third.
Gosden said: "He's been an unlucky horse. He was unlucky at Doncaster and he got chopped up in the Cambridgeshire here last year."
Connections of Twice Over were pleased he showed he retains his enthusiasm in his sixth season on the racetrack.
Teddy Grimthorpe, racing manager to owner Khalid Abdullah, said: "That was a nice run and he probably blew up coming out of the Dip. It was good to see he retains his enthusiasm and he will probably run in the Brigadier Gerard [at Sandown] next."