Crystal Ocean gave Sir Michael Stoute a 10th win in the Qatar Gordon Stakes with a taking performance in the Group Three heat.
The son of Sea The Stars came out on top on his first attempt on soft ground as he reversed Royal Ascot form with Khalidi in great style.
Ryan Moore had the 6-4 favourite off the pace set by Mount Moriah until the business end, where he quickened nicely to put the race to bed, seeing off Khalidi by three and a half lengths.
Crystal Ocean was slashed to 6-1 from 14-1 for the William Hill St Leger with Betfair.
Moore said: “He’s a lightly-raced colt and he’s progressed with every run. He’ll be better as the year goes on and be better next year.”
Asked about the Leger, he said: “He’ll stay, but I don’t really think he’s a mile and six horse.
“He’s got plenty of ability and he will get better next year, I don’t know if he’s a Leger horse. That will be for Michael to decide, he’s got a couple of months to get there yet.”
Stoute, though, seemed much keener on a Leger bid.
He said: “He is a horse we’ve always liked and Ryan has always liked him to. We knew he handled soft ground as he did in the Dante. My only concern was would he handle this ground. He is very adaptable.
“We are certainly thinking about the St Leger. We will see how he comes through this.
“I said before the Dante we didn’t consider him as a Derby horse as he had got to be more mature going into Epsom.
“He is pretty good at this trip. We may do a Conduit (did the Gordon-Leger double in 2008) and have a one off fling (at a mile and three-quarters).”
Thady Gosden, pupil assistant to his father, John, said of the runner-up Khalidi: “Frankie (Dettori) said he ran very well but he didn’t handle the ground. It was a little bit too soft for him.
“The plan now is to freshen him up and hopefully take him to the St Leger, all being well.”