GOLD Mount, who won at Royal Ascot as Primitivo in 2016, made a winning start for Ian Williams in the Sky Bet Race To The Ebor Grand Cup at York on Saturday.

Trained by Alan King before heading out to the riches of Hong Kong, where he was renamed, the six-year-old has the Melbourne Cup as a long-term aim.

Having competed with credit at the highest level in the Far East for Tony Cruz, he slightly lost his way for Richard Gibson, who advised sending him to his good friend Williams after a fourth-placed finish in the Dubai Gold Cup behind Cross Counter.

Dropped out into the rear by Andrea Atzeni as the favourite Mekong put the pace to the race, the winner moved up to challenge stylishly.

As Mekong and Austrian School dropped away, it was between Raheen House, having his first start for William Haggas, and Gold Mount, who powered away to win by two and a quarter lengths at 16-1.

The race guaranteed him a spot in the Ebor, for which the sponsors quoted him at 14-1 - but Williams sounded lukewarm.

"He came from my very good friend Richard Gibson and after he ran so well in Hong Kong, they (owners) decided they'd like to aim at the Melbourne Cup," said Williams.

"This was the start of his journey there and he couldn't have done any more. He's beat a fairly decent field very well and I'm delighted with his performance.

"He's enjoyed that ground so we'll have to be careful where we send him from here on in, but he's tough - not big, but hardy.

"He's performed well at Group One level over 10 furlongs in Hong Kong so as a stayer we don't know what he can do.

"In terms of the Ebor I think the handicapper will give him plenty of weight. He's a small horse, a big weight in a top handicap might be tough for him.

"He's been sent to me to be prepared for the Melbourne Cup, so we'll work back from there."

Elsewhere on Saturday, Carol Bartley landed the Queen Mother's Cup for the second time as Arctic Fox continued her progression.

Winner of her last two outings for Richard Fahey, the three-year-old was taking on her elders in the race for lady riders.

Traditionally the winning jockey gets their weight in champagne as a prize - meaning it can be the only occasion when a rider wants to see the needle move rapidly to the right when they jump on the scales.

Bartley first tasted success on Jim Goldie's Nanton in 2013, and showed all her experience in the home straight.

On hitting the front, Arctic Fox (5-1) began to drift to his right, but instead of fighting her, as they were in the clear Bartley let her mount find her own way and with a rail to run against she kept on well.

Ruth Carr's Mutamaded ran on to be second under Emily Bullock, with Where's Jeff and Serena Brotherton third.

Recon Mission made every yard of the running to land the £100,000 Pavers Foundation Catherine Memorial Sprint Handicap for Tony Carroll and Robert Winston.

Trained by Michael O'Callaghan in Ireland as a juvenile, he had gone well at Chester before running in the Dash on Derby day at Epsom last time out.

Once Winston bounced him into an early lead the Kodiac colt always looked comfortable, showing he is fully capable at five and six furlongs.

Having nicked two lengths with more than a furlong to run, it was a matter of if his stamina would hold out, as the favourite Victory Day charged out of the pack under Jamie Spencer.

Recon Mission (20-1) was not for passing, though, and held on by a head with Magical Wish third and Cosmic Law fourth.

Many punters at York will have followed David O'Meara's Firmament off the proverbial cliff in recent seasons, given how he always appeared an unlucky loser, but he rewarded those who kept the faith at 14-1 in the JCB Handicap.

Ridden by James Doyle, who a few hours earlier had the good news that two of his Royal Ascot big guns, Masar and Sea Of Class, were to be kept apart, he burst clear of a competitive field to win by a length and three-quarters.

On a difficult day for punters, there was a 20-1 winner of the Reg Griffin Appreciation Maiden Stakes, although on paper Magical Max could have been an even bigger price.

With several big yards represented, the 6,000 guineas purchase from Mark Walford's yard was not an obvious winner.

He came down the outside under Andrew Mullen to triumph by half a length.

Barely a York meeting passes without an Easterby winner and this time it was the turn of the Tim Easterby-trained Poet's Dawn (15-2) who sat in second throughout before kicking clear under David Allan to win the Ice Co Supporting Macmillan Handicap.