Hawkbill swoops for Tercentenary score

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TwinSpires Staff

June 16th, 2016

Edited Press Release

Trainer Charlie Appleby was delighted with the performance of Hawkbill, who gave the trainer his second Royal Ascot success when running out a 1 1/4-length winner of the Tercentenary Stakes (Eng-G3) Thursday afternoon.

Jockey William Buick secured his 16th Royal Ascot winner and second victory of the week aboard the sophomore.

The Godolphin trio of the winner, runner-up Prize Money and pacemaker Race Day went off in front, with the latter setting a particularly strong pace. The same three horses were still in front as the field turned for home but, while the pacemaker gave way two furlongs from home, both Hawksbill and Prize Money stayed on strongly.

The son of Kitten's Joy took the lead just over a furlong out and was always holding the renewed challenge of Prize Money to extend his winning sequence to five successive victories and give Godolphin a one-two in the race.

"Hawkbill has done it really well. He is a nice horse who won very well today,” Buick said. "Me and James (Doyle, jockey of second-placed Prize Money) pulled well clear. They probably were the best two horses in the race. I've always thought a lot of my fella.

"He is a horse that stays a mile and a half hopefully so there are plenty of options open for him. We don't think this horse has fulfilled his potential yet and we think a lot of him."

Appleby was understandably wreathed in smiles following the victory by the 11-2 shot.

"I was delighted with that," Appleby nodded. "First of all, I'd like to say well done to (jockey) Martin (Lane who rode pacemaker Race Day) who set perfect fractions. It was our plan to have a nice strong pace and hopefully, if he got the trip, he'd win.”

"Martin Lane rode a beautiful race in front,” Buick agreed. “He didn't ride a pacemaker's race, he rode a race to suit the other Godolphin horses.”

Appleby went on to talk about Hawkbill’s mindset and unique traveling schedule up to this point.

"(Hawkbill’s) shown there what he shows us at home,” the trainer said. “He's a great traveler and sees it out as well. I wasn't worried about the ground as the guys at home didn't think it would be a problem. His biggest challenge is himself sometimes but we've got him settled down.

“Full credit to the team at home, his groom and work rider Shane Fetherstonhaugh (who rode Frankel in his work) has done a great job and everyone has done their bit.

"I have to give Shane and everyone a lot of credit for keeping Hawkbill quiet. He has done a lot of traveling for his age. We took him to America because we felt mentally he could not take the traveling in Europe but we didn't get a run over there.

"We took him to Dubai and he just strengthened and developed throughout the winter. He enjoyed his track work but we did not know what level of horse we were dealing with until we took him to Newmarket. The reason we went there was because I wanted to take him somewhere close to home and not worry about the traveling so much.

“We'll get back, regroup and see where we go from there. He's not a horse that I'd want to go to the well too often with. He's got a nice future ahead of him."

Prize Money certainly contributed his bit in the Tercentenary. The Authorized colt, trained by Saeed bin Suroor, holds an entry to the Irish Derby (Ire-G1) but connections were unsure whether he would stand his ground in the Irish classic.

"It would come soon enough after running on this ground I would think, but we are delighted with his run,” said John Ferguson, Godolphin's chief executive and racing manager.

"I would say a step-up in trip is likely. It was natural to come here for the Tercentenary after the way he ran at Goodwood (in an 11-furlong listed race) where he had to make all his own running. He just got collared in the last furlong. So it was natural to come here for a mile and a quarter.

"He ran a super race, is a big strong horse and could be a lovely horse next year as well."

Bin Suroor added about the 4-1 joint-favorite, "I think the winner was the better horse on the day and I think Prize Money will be a better horse over a mile and a half. We will have to see how the horse comes out of the race before we decide where to go next."

Aidan O'Brien, trainer of Long Island Sound who finished 2 3/4 lengths behind in third, said, "He will be better on better ground. I was very happy with the run."

Hawkbill photo courtesy of Ascot Racecourse via Twitter