07/06/2005 12:00AM

Ivan Denisovich a victor


Ivan Denisovich pronounced himself the best 2-year-old seen so far this year in Europe with a stunning victory in the Group 2, $123,000 July Stakes at Newmarket on Wednesday.

A son of Danehill trained by Aidan O'Brien, Ivan Denisovich finished full of run under Kieren Fallon as the 7-2 second choice to defeat Northern Empire by two lengths, getting the straight six furlongs in 1:12.42 on ground labeled good to soft.

Out of a North American champion filly and Breeders' Cup Distaff winner, Hollywood Wildcat, Ivan Denisovich is a half-brother to the 2000 Breeders' Cup Mile winner, War Chant. A measure of his triumph was the

seventh-place finish of the 2-1 favorite, Red Clubs, winner of the Group 2 Coventry Stakes at Royal Ascot at York.

Bred in Ireland by Hollywood Wildcat's owner-breeder, Irving Cowan, and owned by Cowan, Mrs. John Magnier, and Michael Tabor, Ivan Denisovich had served notice that he might be out of the ordinary with a 4 1/2-length victory in a six-furlong Leopardstown maiden race in his second start, on June 1. O'Brien will now give him a short break before bringing him back in the fall.

Fallon completed a Group 2 double with the 2-1 Gamut in the 1 1/2-mile, $158,000 Princess of Wales's Stakes, leading to defeat the 6-5 favorite, Day Flight, by eight lengths. Winless in four starts since having won last year's Group 1 Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud, Gamut, trained by Michael Stoute, ended Day Flight's three-race winning streak.