Owned by Sheikh Mohammed Obaid, Defoe racked up four consecutive victories as a three-year-old last season, winning handicaps at Newbury and York before landing the Listed Glasgow Stakes at Hamilton and the G3 Geoffrey Freer Stakes at this course in August - at which he is now three from three. 

His subsequent below-par run in the St Leger was easily forgiven and he resumed his progress in no uncertain terms here, only needing to be pushed out to account for G3 Cumberland Lodge Stakes winner Danehill Kodiac by two and a half lengths with course specialist What About Carlo a further head back in third.

Breaking from stall one, Andrea was content to bide his time on the son of Dalakhani as Titi Makfi cut out solid early fractions for a six-runner field and second favourite Call To Mind tracked Defoe through under James Doyle.

The tempo began to quicken as the field passed through the four-furlong marker and while the quintet of opposition riders began to ask more from their mounts, Andrea remained motionless on Defoe, who moved into contention with real zest.

The writing was on the wall with two furlongs left to run but Andrea continued to wait and wait, eventually asking Defoe to go and win his race inside the final furlong.

When he did the response was instantaneous, the powerful grey scooting clear in the style of an improved performer who has earned a return to Group One company, for which he holds an entry in the Tattersalls Gold Cup over 1m2f at the Curragh next month. 

Roger said: “Defoe has enjoyed a good winter and he trained well into this race. He holds an entry in the Tattersalls Gold Cup and he would have the speed to drop back to 1m2f. We will see how he trains over the next couple of weeks and that might be a race to consider.”