Cecil has enjoyed a superb 2011 thanks to the exploits of his unbeaten colt Frankel, but it was the turn of one of his fillies to shine as last year's Investec Oaks ninth struck at Group One level.
The 16/1 chance had scored in Listed company at Warwick last time out and followed up under Tom Queally as the Khalid Abdulla-owned four-year-old held the challenge of 13/8 favourite Saphresa by a length and a quarter.
Cecil joked: "We had the choice of a Listed race at Pontefract or this, but seen as she is already a Listed winner I decided to run here.
"She is a very good filly but didn't stay in the Oaks. She has a lot of ability and the stiff mile suited. She doesn't like to get there too soon and they didn't go that fast today. She has come good today and has beaten a good filly.
"We will have a think about what to do - she is a Group One winner now."
"They didn't go very fast and she gets a mile and quarter so we didn't want to hit the front too soon. He had to sit, although they weren't going fast enough, and she did it very well. I think that Tom rode her very well - it will do the jockey good and do the filly good.
"I didn't want her to lead, or have to pull her back into the middle or anything like that. We wanted to let her use her stride with a horse going in front of her, otherwise she goes to sleep.
"I know that she is very good is just a question of her getting her right and she has got it right today. She will get a mile and a quarter but a mile and one furlong is probably her best trip, but there are not too many races over that trip.
"I am very pleased because I told the Prince that I thought a lot of her and he stood by me. It's lovely to keep them on as four-year-olds because I think the breed is generally getting more backward and you have such an advantage at four up to the end of July and beginning of August."
Queally added: "We have never made any secret of how we feel about her - she has always had the ability. They hacked along, it rode like a piece of work and she took care of them. I am pleased for her and for everyone at the yard. It's brilliant.
"They went no gallop. Neil (Callan) got his own way of things and I just followed along. The beauty of it was that I was able to keep her on the bridle for so long - she always does it so easily - and then she has skipped along up that hill.
"She stays a mile very well and she gets a mile and a furlong on her head. The slow pace was the only thing that could have caught us out but it didn't. She ran over three furlongs further at Warwick but that was a Listed race and this was a step up in class.
"I feel that she has always had ability and I am sure that Sir Henry won't tell you any different."
Abdulla's racing manager, Teddy Grimthorpe, added: "Group One wins are what it is all about in racing. We have her sire (Zamindar) and her dam (Clepsydra) so this is a triple-whammy for us."
H R A Cecil
T P Queally
16 - 1
C P Lemaire
13 - 8
1 1/4 length
D M Simcock
40 - 1
J H M Gosden
12 - 1
M F De Kock
14 - 1
1 1/4 length
I'm A Dreamer
D M Simcock
J P Spencer
9 - 1
2 1/4 lengths
Lily Of The Valley
J C Rouget
9 - 1
J H M Gosden
8 - 1
3 3/4 lengths
S bin Suroor
15 - 2
C E Brittain
66 - 1
R L Moore
8 - 1
SLOW PACE FOILS SAHPRESA
Favourite Sahpresa, returned at 13/8, was seeking a third Group One win at Newmarket but the Rod Collet-trained French raider had to settle for second place after being given a stiff task in the Group One Etihad Airways Falmouth Stakes.
The slow pace did not help jockey Christophe Lemaire who settled his mount at the rear and then made up ground in the final quarter mile to finish a length and a quarter behind the winner.
Lemaire said: “The pace was very slow in the early part of the race. She did a brilliant effort once I got going but there was too much ground to make up.”
First City continues to delight and surprise connections with her efforts this season and finished with her usual late rattle to take third in the mile contest.
The David Simcock-trained mare went down by a length and three quarters to the victorious Timepiece in the mile showpiece, making a nonsense of her 40/1 odds.
The five-year-old Diktat mare has improved for each start this term, following a runner-up finish to Antara in an Epsom Group Three with third place behind Lolly For Dolly in the Group Two Windsor Forest Stakes at Royal Ascot last time.
Bruce Raymond, racing manager to owner Saeed Misleh, said: “We keep stepping her up and she keeps improving each time.
“She is always a bit keenish early so she needs to be settled but she always comes home good. The slow pace there probably wasn’t ideal but she has run her race and there are no excuses.
“There are plenty of races for her and David will have a look at where we send her next. We keep thinking she’s probably not a Group One filly but then she runs like that and proves that she is. We would just like to go and win a race now.”
Simcock, who also saddled sixth-placed I’m A Dreamer, said: “I’m delighted with First City. She continues to surprise us all. The race wasn’t run to suit I’m A Dreamer. I would even say it was a farcical race.”