Aidan O’Brien has enjoyed a fantastic season on both sides of the Irish Sea and leads the British trainers’ title by over £3 million courtesy of wins in the Epsom Oaks and the Sussex Stakes among others.

The Ballydoyle maestro was to add yet another Group race to his bow on the second day of Newmarket’s Cambridgeshire meeting, as the consistent Cougar Mountain triumphed in the Group 2 Shadwell Joel Stakes over one mile.

He’s a bit of a character but a likeable rogue

Three-time course winner Gifted Master took the field along in the early stages at looked a brisk pace under William Buick. The favourite and only filly in the contest Nathra, was held up towards the rear along with Cougar Mountain who made good headway under Ryan Moore to track the leader at halfway.

As the field fanned out to make their challenges inside the three furlong pole, Cougar Mountain launched a strong effort to leader Gifted Master, the pair drawing a few lengths clear of the remainder. He wrestled the lead just over a furlong out and kept on well to score by just over three-lengths at the finishing line.

For Moore, this success adds yet another Group race to his burgeoning list already this season. In fact, the Joel Stakes becomes his 33rd Group race win of the season in Britain and Ireland with the potential of more to come in the final weeks of the season.

“He’s ran some very good races and has held his form very well,” reflected Moore. “It was a funny race but he always felt like he was going to go and win today. It worked out well and he thoroughly deserves one.”

While Ballydoyle end a 15-year hiatus in the race, it was also the end of a long wait for Cougar Mountain who last tasted success 13 months ago in the Group 3 Desmond Stakes at Leopardstown. The son of Fastnet Rock has run a dozen times this season, twice finishing a close runner-up in two Group 3’s and also featuring behind star American mare Tepin in the Queen Anne Stakes back in June.

Kevin Buckley, Coolmore’s UK representative said: “The key with him is he likes the good to firm ground and is probably better over the mile trip.

“He’s always been knocking on the door so we’re very happy with that. He’s a bit of a character but a likeable rogue.”

Earlier in the afternoon, Journey made it a quick-fire double for trainer John Gosden after claiming back-to-back victories in the Listed Princess Royal EBF Nayef Stakes over a mile and a half.

Coming back from a 118 day layoff, the George Strawbridge-owned filly soon took the eight-strong field along under Frankie Dettori.

Always travelling strongly throughout, she readily asserted from her rivals inside the final two furlongs to secure a comfortable three-length victory from stable companion Lady Of Camelot.

Spain Burg became the first French-based filly in history to win the Group 2 Shadwell Rockfel Stakes for two-year-old fillies over seven furlongs.

Having won a Listed contest last time out in Bordeaux for trainer Xavier Thomas-Demeaulte, the daughter of Sageburg came with a withering run from the back of the field to challenge the leaders inside the final two furlongs.

Partnered by Dettori, she comfortably got on top in the last 100 yards to win by a length and a quarter from warm favourite Fair Eva.