Frontiersman could only finish third behind Watersmeet on his first start on an all-weather surface at Wolverhampton on Monday evening.
Last season’s Coronation Cup runner-up contested the Betway-sponsored conditions stakes but he could not lay a glove on the winner when push came to shove.
Frontiersman had not previously been tested by trainer Charlie Appleby over this marathon trip of just over two miles.
And he did not look the most willing of allies in the hands of Adam Kirby, who could not reel in Watersmeet and French challenger Funny Kid.
The winner, trained by Mark Johnston, had looked beaten inside the final furlong, but the all-weather specialist would not give in and fought back to take the fast-track qualifier by a neck. Frontiersman was another length and three-quarters away.
Successful jockey Joe Fanning told At The Races: “Inside the final furlong I thought the other horse was going to beat me.
“He’s a grand old horse. He always runs well on the all-weather.”