Alounak bounced back to form to claim an impressive victory in the bet365 Old Newton Cup at Haydock.
A Group Three winner in Germany and runner-up in the Hardwicke Stakes at Royal Ascot, Andrew Balding’s charge appeared dangerously well handicapped on the pick of his form.
However, he lined up for this prestigious handicap with plenty to prove, having never threatened to land a telling blow on either of his two previous outings this season at Ascot.
Sent off at 14-1 in the hands of three-times champion jockey Silvestre de Sousa, Alounak arrived on the scene travelling powerfully inside the final two furlongs before powering three lengths clear in the rain-softened ground.
Win O’Clock narrowly beat my Frankel to the runner-up spot.
“He’s done it very well out there,” said the winning rider.
“He travelled really well throughout the race. I was confident when I went back through his form as I knew he would go on the soft ground.
“I don’t think he’s at his best in this ground, but he’d run some good races in the past and he’d come down in the handicap, so it was all suitable for him.”