Al Kazeem had to fight to see off the challenge of True Story in the 188Bet Winter Hill Stakes at Windsor.
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Roger Charlton's triple Group One winner has returned to the track this season after an unsuccessful stint at stud and finished fourth on his reappearance at Newbury in July.
However, better was expected at Windsor on Saturday night and was sent off the 8/11 favourite to win the Group Three contest against six inferior rivals on official ratings.
The three-year-old True Story was expected to give him most to do on that score and that's how it worked out on the track as Silvestre de Sousa threw everything at the Godolphin colt inside the final furlong.
Yet Al Kazeem never really looked like being headed and battled well under George Baker for a half-length success.
Baker told At The Races: "I was mindful not to get caught behind, apart from that it went smoothly and I was very pleased with him. He's back on track, it was a massive step up from Newbury and I was very impressed with the way he travelled throughout the race."
Charlton added: "It was a relief. One shouldn't find pressure with horses but when you have had one as good as him it would've been something to see him stuffed twice in lesser races.
"George said he was always going to win and that he was just doing enough. Where we go and how high he gets I don't know.
"That's a few lengths better than Newbury and we'll have to find that again to compete in the better races.
"The Irish Champions Stakes is two weeks tomorrow - that's pretty soon and I always thought he was a better horse going right handed. I don't think Leopardstown suited him. I would be pretty certain he'd avoid that.
"The QIPCO Champion Stakes is a great race and that could be his target but we'll see what Mr Deer (the owner) says."