For the fourth consecutive year the Group 1 Prince of Wales’s Stakes went to an overseas winner as Byword, trained by Andre Fabre, produced a thoroughly professional performance in the hands of young Maxime Guyon.
The jockey was having his first-ever ride in the UK but you wouldn’t have guessed as he guided his mount to a half-length success over the Henry Cecil-trained Twice Over.
Always nicely positioned, Byword travelled sweetly just off the pace which was cut out by the John Gosden pair of Tazeez and Debussy.
The order remained unchanged through the early stages and only when the field swung for home did the race began in earnest. Guyon benefited from his position behind the long-time leaders and when he asked his mount to quicken the response was immediate.
He skipped a couple of lengths clear of the field and held on in decent style as Twice Over tried in vain to reel him in. The runner-up had endured one or two traffic problems when he entered the home straight and those that backed him may feel a little hard done by. However, the winner made the most of his chance and was ultimately good value for the success. Tazeez kept going in determined fashion to claim a deserved third spot at 40/1 under Tadhg O’Shea, having been in front rank throughout.
Fellow 40/1 shot Stimulation, for trainer Hughie Morrison, was another to outperform his odds, passing the post a gallant fourth but the well-fancied Cavalryman, under Frankie Dettori, never featured and came home well beaten.
The result was a special one for owner Khalid Abdulla who was responsible for both Byword and Twice Over. After enjoying double Guineas success with Special Duty, and then Epsom
Derby glory with Workforce, the season just seems to be getting better and better for the owner.
The successful trainer, who was winning the race for the second time in four years after Manduro’s victory in 2007, never doubted his runner’s talent. “I always knew he had the ability to win this, I knew he was good enough,” he said. “He has really matured over the winter but I’m not sure he’ll stay further than 1m 2f.
There would be a stamina question mark about him for the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe but he’ll be a force in all the top races over 1m and 1m 2f ”.
Speaking through an interpreter, the winning jockey was quick to praise his trainer: “I’m delighted to have the opportunity to ride here and so very grateful to Mr Fabre. The race went perfectly and I’m delighted.”