Ascot racegoers were hoping to see the performance of a champion in today's King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes, and that is exactly what they got, only not with the horse expected.
Derby winner Workforce was sent off a hot 8/11 favourite to follow up his wide margin Epsom victory, but it was his stable companion Harbinger who produced a performance that took the breath away.
Always prominent behind pacemaker Confront, Olivier Peslier's mount travelled supremely well, and taking the lead over one furlong out sprinted away from a top class field to record an eleven length victory in record time.
Irish Derby winner Cape Blanco confirmed Dante Stakes form with the favourite, to run out a respectable second, ahead of the consistent Group 1 horse Youmzain in third.
The disappointing Workforce was never travelling like the winner and only managed to finish ahead of his pacemaker, with jockey Ryan Moore claiming the horse could not handle the fast ground.
The race, first run in 1951, has produced several champions and spectacular performances, but this years event was up there with the very best.
The winning jockey said : " You can imagine how I felt in the last furlong when I saw the big screen and I could see the others so far behind.
" The horse today is the king, he is a wonderful horse."
After such a comprehensive victory it is no surprise that Harbinger is now a short priced favourite for October's Prix de L'Arc de Triomphe, with Coral biggest at 2/1.
If Sir Michael Stoute's inmate reproduces today's performance on the first Sunday in October there seems little point in the opposition turning up!