A superb front-running ride from William Buick helped Hawkbill to a decisive triumph from top international opposition in the G1 Dubai Sheema Classic over 12 furlongs on 31 March at Meydan and provide Godolphin with a third 2018 Dubai World Cup Night victory.
The Charlie Appleby-trained Hawkbill broke well among the 10 runners towards the outside and soon led, with William Buick initially going steady out in the front and then gradually stepping up the pace.
Another Godolphin runner, Cloth Of Stars (Andre Fabre/Mickael Barzalona), disputed the early running, pulling hard, before racing in second or third.
Five-year-old Hawkbill was kicked for home turning into the straight and ran on strongly to open up a three-length advantage at the line from Poet’s Word, with Cloth Of Stars a neck back in third, in a time of 2m 29.45s.
Charlie Appleby commented: “The two horses tonight that I felt really deserved to be back on the G1 stage were Jungle Cat and Hawkbill.
“I am delighted that they have both won and it has been a fantastic evening.
“Hawkbill has been a model of consistency, having won the G1 Eclipse Stakes and been multiple Group-placed.
“William has given him a fantastic ride and thanks to everyone down at the start for checking him out.
“I am delighted for Sheikh Mohammed to have another winner this evening.
“It’s a huge team effort and, when you have jockeys like William and James on your side, it makes your job a lot easier.”
William Buick was thrilled with the victory and declared: “Hawkbill is quite an energetic horse and he got his leg over the gate but I could see and tell that it hadn’t affected him.
“I am absolutely delighted and over the moon – this means the world.
“Godolphin have been having a great night and there has also been an influx of international winners as well.
“Sheikh Mohammed is delighted that the international runners are out here. It is an amazing night and I am a very, very happy man.
“Hawkbill really relaxed in front. The race on Super Saturday managed to get his head straight and his body right.
“I felt that he was in a lovely rhythm at halfway and knew that it was going to take a good horse to beat him.
“He has done really well physically over the winter. We have always thought a lot of this horse and sometimes we have not been proved right, so let’s hope that we can carry on like we are now.”
Hawkbill provided Godolphin’s fifth win in the Dubai Sheema Classic.