The rain softened ground at Sandown Park meant that runners were thin on the ground but those in action served up a feast of intrigue in a wonderfully tactical race for the Group 3 Cantor Fitzgerald Brigadier Gerard Stakes.

Sadly the defections of Hillstar and Remote resulted in this race cutting up and almost inevitably tactics were going to play an important role.

Top Notch Tonto was left to make the running under duress, with Sharestan in second and Sheikhzayedroad held up in last.

Sharestan and Kieren Fallon eased into the lead with about five furlongs to race as the pace quickened turning for home and once again the trio headed towards the stands rail.

The race started to turn into a sprint and Top Notch Tonto came back at Sharestan momentarily but the Godolphin horse responded well and the real challenge lay in behind in the form of the patiently ridden Sheikhzayedroad, who began to inch closer and closer.

In the final few yards the ground Sheikhzayedroad was making up became significant and things became desperate for Sharestan as the pair flashed past the post virtually inseparable and well clear of Top Notch Tonto.

But the verdict went to Sharestan by a nose.