06/02/2006 12:00AM

Shirocco, Alexandrova triumph

Edward Whitaker / Racing Post
Shirocco (right) holds off Ouija Board to win the Coronation Cup at Epsom in England on Friday.

Staying power was the order of the day at Epsom on Friday as Shirocco outlasted Ouija Board in the Coronation Cup while Alexandrova stormed to a most impressive victory in the English Oaks.

Shirocco gave trainer Andre Fabre his sixth win in the $466,000 Coronation Cup but his first since 1996, when he won it with Swain.

Shirocco, the 2005 Breeders' Cup Turf winner, set a slow early pace but relinquished the lead to a keen 2005 BC Turf runner-up Ace after they had gone a half-mile of the 1 1/2-mile contest.

Ouija Board, the 2004 BC Filly and Mare Turf winner who was having her first race in England after five starts in Asia and America, was right behind the leaders when the 8-11 Shirocco regained the lead at Tattenham Corner, four furlongs from home.

Ouija Board did all she could under Frankie Dettori, getting within a half-length at one point, but Shirocco and jockey Christophe Soumillon were just too tough. A 5-year-old son of Monsun, Shirocco ran out a 1 3/4 length winner with Ouija Board lasting for second by a half-length over Enforcer. Ace tired to finish fourth, beaten 4 3/4 lengths. The time was 2:37.64 on good ground that appeared to have some give in it.

Shirocco will now be aimed at the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Diamond Stakes at Ascot on July 29, while Ouija Board could appear next at Royal Ascot in the Group 2 Hardwicke Stakes on June 22.

Jockey Kieren Fallon was at his coolest and best aboard Alexandrova in the $700,000 English Oaks. Sent off as the 9-4 choice, the Sadler's Wells filly was stuck on the rail in eighth place on the downhill turn with five of the 12 furlongs still to run. Fallon manuevered her wide as the pacesetter, the 1000 Guineas winner Speciosa, quickened for home.

Once they straightened out in the long stretch the result became academic. Alexandrova sped away for a six-length victory over Rising Cross, who survived a bad misstep at the eighth pole to finish second, 1 1/2 lengths in front of Short Skirt, who had beaten Alexandrova last time in the Musidora Stakes. Speciosa was fourth. Alexandrova, who might run next in the Irish Oaks on July 16, was timed in 2:37.71. She gave Fallon with his fourth English Oaks triumph and trainer Aidan O'Brien his second.