An inch perfect front running ride by Irishman Joe Doyle paved the way for outsider El Vencedor to upset the applecart in the Group 1 Bonecrusher New Zealand Stakes at Ellerslie.

Despite a consistent form-line with a win and three placings along with a last-start fourth in the Group 1 Otaki-Māori Weight For Age Classic (1600m), the five-year-old son of Shocking was overlooked by punters as he closed at $21 on the Fixed Odds market.

All the smart money in the 2000m was on class four-year-old mare Legarto ($1.20) who had taken out the Group 1 Herbie Dyke Stakes (2000m) at her last start.

Those investments looked well placed early in the piece as Ryan Elliot settled her beautifully in third as she stalked El Vencedor and Doyle, who set up a tidy pace in front.

Approaching the home corner, it was evident that El Vencedor was travelling sweetly in his first start beyond 1600m, however Legarto had him in her sights as she switched off the rail and set out to bridge the three-length margin the leader had established with 300m to run.

Despite making ground steadily, Legarto couldn’t pull back El Vencedor who kicked strongly for Doyle and powered to the line to win by half a length with Ladies Man finishing resolutely for third, albeit four lengths in arrears of the first two.

Trainer Stephen Marsh, who had two races earlier taken out the Group 1 Sistema Stakes (1200m) with Velocious, was a little lost for words as he contemplated what his charge had just achieved.

“Legarto is such a great mare and you never take her cheaply, but I loved the way he got to the front under a bit of pressure then got a couple of cheap sectionals,” Marsh said.

“He was galloping beautifully in front and coming into the straight I saw Legarto come off the bridle just as we were starting to climb into it.

“I thought geez we could be a chance here, and he kicked well and galloped nice and true which was beautiful to see.

“He has got better and better with each run, and this is great for his breeders and owners Mark Freeman and David Price as they own the mare, and it is just awesome all around.

“Two Group Ones in a day is just surreal.”