Overlooked by nearly everyone, Paul J. Dixon's English homebred Milk It Mick sprang a 33-1 surprise Saturday in the Darley Dewhurst stakes (Eng-I) for 2-year-olds at Newmarket.
Jockey Darryll Holland brought the son of Milkom along just in time to catch favored Three Valleys near the wire of the seven-furlong test, a major European juvenile fixture. Trainer Jamie Osborne collected his first group I triumph.
Milk It Mick, a group III winner in his last effort, was making his 12th start of the year. He put that experience to good use with a big finish down the center of the course.
Holland wasn't watching for the wire and couldn't believe he had won.
"I had my head down and kept pushing," he told The Racing Post
. "I only got the ride yesterday because Lucky Story came out. But what a ride to get."
Osborne was stunned, saying simply, "I can't believe it.
"He's such a genuine horse. This is the second time we've taken a firm decision on how to ride him. He's out of a five-furlong mare (Lunar Music) but once we dropped him in and got him to relax he showed he could get home.
Milk It Mick raced along near the back of the pack until Holland pushed up into position with 2 1/2 furlongs to go. He challenged Three Valleys in the final eighth of a mile and edged in front 100 yards from home.
The seven furlongs on a good to firm course was completed in 1:25.22. A field of 12 competed, with Haafhd third, 1 1/4 length behind Juddmonte-bred Three Valleys. Another U.S. bred, Bachelor of Duke, was a head farther back in fourth.