• Horse Racing

Fiorente bounces back for Princess of Wales win

ESPN staff
July 12, 2012
Paul Hanagan drives Alhebayeb to victory in the July Stakes © PA Photos

Fiorente bounced back to form to hand Sir Michael Stoute another winner in the Princess of Wales Stakes.

The four-year-old had not been at his best in three starts this term, but he relished the soft underfoot conditions to hand his trainer a ninth win in the race.

Harris Tweed set a searching gallop, but he was a spent force two furlongs from home. He appeared to have set the race up for the favourite Red Cadeaux, but he drifted to the left once hitting the front and this opened the door for Fiorente who pointed his toe under Ryan Moore and powered away in the final furlong to take the Group Two prize.

Shantaram enhanced his St Leger claims with an impressive success in the Bahrain Trophy.

Trainer John Gosden has a stack of top-class three-year-olds at his disposal and Shantaram is another string to his bow. The soft ground was expected to be all against the son of Galileo, and the way he drifted in the betting suggested that would be the case.

But Shantaram defied the drift with an impressive display. He travelled superbly for William Buick, showed a smart turn of foot to breeze into the lead and stuck on well when challenged by Naseem Alyasmeen to take the Group Three prize with a ton in hand.

"I underdid him for his last race and the ground was very loose, but I'd have been disappointed if he hadn't won today," Gosden said. "He'll be put in the Great Voltigeur and the St Leger and he needs racing, so I'd imagine we'll look towards the Voltigeur first.

"Obviously I've got Michelangelo and Thought Worthy (also for the Leger), so three legitimate horses at that level. They are all under different ownership and it's up the owners, but they could certainly all be aimed to that end (the Leger)."

Alhebayeb provided Paul Hanagan with a welcome winner when showing tremendous resolve to land the Group Two July Stakes.

Hanagan has not had the best of luck since signing a retainer with Hamdan Al Maktoum and suffered a horrible fall recently. However, the champion jockey is as redoubtable as they come and he produced a power-packed ride to get his mount back up to beat Ahern.

Richard Hannon's Alhebayeb struck the front with well over a furlong to run, but was headed inside the final 100 yards by Ahern. However, Alhebayeb showed a willing attitude to wrestle the Group Two prize away from Michael Bell's runner.

"When Paul got off him, the first thing he said was that he'd get seven furlongs," Hannon Jr said. "I suppose the Dewhurst Stakes has to be an option now, but he's in the Gimcrack and the Middle Park will be an option as well. We'll sleep on it and see how he comes out of the race."

Sovereign Debt, an also ran in the Jersey Stakes at Royal Ascot, bounced back to his best when coming from last to first to overhaul Mukhadram in the Portland Place Properties Conditions Stakes for trainer Michael Bell and jockey Jamie Spencer.

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