July glory for Alhebayeb
Alhebayeb's second effort proved enough to land the Group 2 TNT July Stakes at Newmarket for Richard Hannon
Alhebayeb's second effort proved enough to land the Group 2 TNT July Stakes at Newmarket for Richard Hannon.
The 9/2 shot saw off a host of rivals in the closing stages of the six-furlong contest after looking like being collared by the rallying Ahern as the runners headed uphill for the line.
The prevailing dead ground made life difficult for the juveniles, many of whom had participated in various races at Royal Ascot three weeks ago.
Alhebayeb was always towards the fore under Paul Hanagan, sitting just off Heavy Metal, but he was pestered by Ahern from the two pole, the David Barron runner still looking very green when brought under pressure by Jamie Spencer.
He loomed up alongside a furlong out before faltering again when shown daylight and it was strong staying outsider Lewisham who inched past in the closing stride to snatch second - he remains a maiden after three runs but that tag should be lost soon.
Richard Hannon Junior said of the winner: "We knew he'd come on a fair bit from Ascot, he's been flying at home and he obviously loves this soft ground, his dad won a Middle Park on it."
Alhebayeb is one of 11 juveniles Hamdan Al Maktoum has with the Hannon team for the first time this year and Hannon Junior added: "We've a nice Acclamation colt who has yet to run, The Taj runs on Saturday but this one today is a very nice horse and at the moment looks the best of them. He looks more mature than the rest and we've four or five yet to run."
Lewisham's trainer, Noel Quinlan, said: "I always thought he was huge value as I knew he'd go on any ground apart from firm.
"He's for sale, so if we get a good offer, he will be gone. Otherwise, he'll go for the Molecomb Stakes."
David Redvers, racing manager for Ahern's owners Qatar Racing, said: "We're not going to blame the ground. It was just greenness and Jamie (Spencer) said he was still learning.
"He's going to be a proper horse and he'll go for the Richmond Stakes at Goodwood next."