William Buick was clearly touched by the warm reception he was given by the Ascot crowd when winning the G3 Bengough Stakes on Blue Point, his comeback ride after an absence of eight weeks because of a serious spinal injury.
The Godolphin jockey said: "Everybody has been very nice. It's great to be back,"
Buick, who suffered a crushed vertebrae in a fall in Chicago in August, looked fit and well as he guided the sprinter home a narrow but decisive winner on Saturday.
"When you spend a long time on the sidelines with an injury, you are always questioning your own ability. I worked harder than I have ever done to get back riding again," he pointed out.
If he needed to prove anything to himself, it appeared he had emphatically all questions, and can now look ahead to what remains of the season.
Buick is likely to be heading off to Kentucky on Saturday to partner Wuheida in the G1 Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup, over nine furlongs on Turf.
Trainer Charlie Appleby said Wuheida had come out of Chantilly's G1 Prix de l'Opera on Arc day in good order and was being shipped to the States.
She finished fourth, beaten a head and two necks by Rhododendron, and held her position well in the closing stages.
She also has a back-up engagement at the Breeders' Cup at Del Mar in early November, Appleby said.