Backed off course at evens with Hills (and also 4-5), he eventually went off a 4-7 chance and made full use of his favoured red jacket to win by over two lengths in 25.56sec.
Fastest, by a spot, was Teds World Cup (25.55sec) who got up to catch Pax on the run-in.
The semis are Friday.
n ALSO on Friday will be the second round of SWINDON's Produce Stakes, last year won by Robbie de Niro.
Fastest in the first round was Hedsor Stan in the opening heat (28.81sec).