Report: Newmarket (July), Thursday
TNT July Stakes (Group 2) 6f, 2yo, colts and geldings
Richard Hannon has delivered a Group 2 success for Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum with his first batch of two-year-olds for the owner, courtesy of Alhebayeb, who was guided home by the owner's retained jockey Paul Hanagan.
Settled in mid-division, Hanagan delivered his challenge up the centre of the track, where he was headed before battling back to win by a neck from the inconvenienced 25-1 shot Lewisham.
Ahern, who was tightened up by the winner approaching the final furlong, stayed on for third behind the 9-2 victor. Gale Force Ten, the 15-8 favourite, carried the runner-up across the course and finished unplaced. It was a messy race, with Alhebayeb touching 150 on Betfair, while Lewisham and Ahern traded as short as 1.1 and 1.16.
Hanagan said: "I thought he should have won at Royal Ascot. He was green, missed the kick and was drawn on the wrong side. He's got a great temperament and really is one to look forward to. He's fine with 6f when the ground is like this but he'll get 7f no problem on a faster surface."
It was a first big-race success for Hanagan in the colours of his new boss and he added: "I'm delighted, this is what it's all about. We've still got a lot of two-year-olds still unraced and plenty to look forward to."