Lingfield's coral.co.uk Winter Derby attracted several class acts, but was won by a six-year-old former handicapper as Robin Hoods Bay provided trainer Ed Vaughan with his biggest success to date.
To give due credit to the all-weather specialist, he had finished second to Farraaj in last year's race and Vaughan had brought the 10-1 chance to the boil for the Group Three event with three lead-up outings.
Robin Hoods Bay was fourth to the 7-4 favourite Grandeur in last month's trial, and with the market leader managing initially to overcome his outside draw before weakening, jockey Luke Morris found his chief rival to be Godolphin's Windhoek, who he passed inside the final furlong and defeated by three-quarters-of-a-length.
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Farraaj was only fifth and jockey Andrea Atzeni was given a three-day ban (April 6,7-8) for causing interference to Windhoek at the first bend of what was a messy race.
Vaughan said: "He had a couple of little niggles early on, but I've left 10% of improvement in him each time he's run in order to be ready for today. He was 64-rated as a younger horse, but I've said he could be the best horse I've trained and he's proved it. We'll go for the £200,000 race on Good Friday then give him a break."
There was talk of Ertijaal being of Qipco 2000 Guineas potential prior to the 32Red Spring Cup, and while the promising colt got the job done, trainer William Haggas was non-committal.
Beaten only by leading two-year-old Toormore on his debut before winning his only other start last June, the 5-4 favourite was drawn on the wide outside and Paul Hanagan had to bounce him quickly from the stalls to get a position.
Ertijaal raced keenly and was pushed to lead two furlongs from home but was nearly given a shock when American Hope started gaining rapidly and was only a head in arrears at the post. Haggas said: "It wasn't a nice draw, but he was pretty flat-out at the end. At least he's had a run. Now I can train him properly anyway. We can get stuck into him now. I'm happy enough."
There was a dream return to action for Martin Dwyer, who suffered a horror fall at Southwell in January on the back of his long-running saga involving a lengthy ban in India that was ultimately quashed by the British authorities.
Riding Stepper Point (16-1), not seen since finishing last of 20 in the Prix de l'Abbaye on Arc day, Dwyer claimed Listed honours in the bookmakers.co.uk Hever Sprint Stakes, coming with a strong finish to win impressively.
Stepper Point is now qualified for the lucrative All-Weather Championships Finals card and trainer William Muir said: "He had only done one gallop, but we thought we'd come here and it would give us the option of coming back on Good Friday. People think I'm a nutter, but I've said all along that's he's a Group One horse."
Jenny Powell, daughter of Grand National-winning rider Brendan and brother of jockey Brendan jnr, claimed her first success as a professional on Mahadee (7-1) in the 32Red.com All Weather "Hands And Heels" Apprentice Series Final Handi