With likely favourite Frontiersman a significant non-runner, the Sir Michael Stoute-trained Poet's Word was the 7-4 market leader on his first start since he was narrowly denied in the Huxley Stakes at Chester in May.
Lord Yeats took the six-strong field along for much of the mile-and-a-half contest, but faded inside the final three furlongs as Second Step and Poet's Word asserted.
Poet's Word was always getting the better of that particular argument and claimed the Group Three prize by a length and a half in the hands of Ryan Moore.
Scarlet Dragon finished strongly to take third.
Moore, who went on to complete a hat-trick after victories on Beat The Bank and Master The World, told ITV Racing: "He jumped out very smoothly and was very relaxed. He's got a great attitude and handled that ground well.
"I had to be patient with him and he has the makings of being a proper horse.
"He's a horse that can only get better. He won the handicap on this card 12 months ago. He does everything right and hopefully he'll keep progressing. I think he will be Group One class."
Bruce Raymond, racing manager to owner Saeed Suhail, said: "I think Sir Michael was a little bit apprehensive about the ground, but I thought he would handle it.
"He laboured a bit in the last two furlongs but I felt when Ryan gave him a whack he would pick up again.
"He has had some minor problems but nothing major. Sir Michael wanted to go to the Eclipse but Saeed Suhail didn't as he thought a mile and a half is his distance.
"I think the Canadian International could be an option but I don't know what Sir Michael's plans are for him. Unless you step him up, there is nothing much for him here."
Eve Johnston Houghton, trainer of Scarlet Dragon, said: "I am disappointed he didn't win it but he has run well on probably the worst ground. He will probably go to the Ebor."
French challenger Al Jazi claimed the L'Ormarins Queens Plate Oak Tree Stakes for the second year in succession under Frankie Dettori.
Francois Rohaut's filly was a clear-cut winner of the Group Three contest last summer and although she was well beaten in the Diamond Jubilee at Royal Ascot on her latest start, she was the 9-4 favourite dropping in class and stepping up in trip on her return to Goodwood.
Dettori took his time before launching his challenge wide of rivals and Al Jazi picked up well in the final furlong to get up and beat Eternally by a length.
Harry Herbert, racing manager for owners Al Shaqab Racing, said: "She loves this trip and obviously this racecourse and Francois Rohaut who got the treble up for Al Shaqab after Amy Eria three years ago. It's very special and good to get a winner on the board."