It presented a winning chance for champion Hot King Prawn, who had enjoyed a gun ride behind Aethero by jockey Joao Moreira, but it was Mr Stunning who climbed from the clouds to win with ease, his third elite-level win.
The seven-year-old was bred at Tony Santic’s Makybe stud farm in Gnarwarre, Geelong, in 2012 and sold for $110,000 as a weanling and then pinhooked for $250,000 as a yearling.
It was the son of Exceed And Excel’s first win since the 2018 Hong Kong sprint. Aussie star Nash Rawiller rode Mr Stunning to victory in the Hong Kong International Sprint in 2017.
Aethero, a son of Sebring bred in NSW, will be forced to undergo a mandatory three-month ban from racing.
The punters, and Purton, did have some luck however, with Exultant winning the group 1 QEII Cup as a $1.50 favourite.
The six-year-old never looked trouble in the 2000-metre challenge, going one better than he did last year when he ran second to Win Bright and beat Lys Gracieux in third.
Meanwhile, in Tokyo, Cox Plate-winning rider Damian Lane rode three winners as well as a group 2 second on Ho O Peaceful in the Japanese Oaks Trial.
Young Japanese jockey Takeshi Yokoyama claimed his first group race on Win Marilyn in the Oaks trial over 2000 metres, despite dropping the whip with 150 metres to go.
Lane has had plenty of success in Japan over the past 18 months, which led to his Caulfield Cup win on import Mer De Glace and Cox Plate victory on Lys Gracieux.
Also on Sunday, in Kyoto, champion Japanese miler Indy Champ won the group 2 Milers Cup and will head to the group 1 Yasuda Kinen in early June.
Damien Ractliffe is the Chief Racing Reporter for The Age.