Hawkbill returns to 12 furlongs at Newbury

Racenews

Last season’s G1 Eclipse Stakes hero Hawkbill steps back up to a mile and a half for the G3 Al Rayyan Stakes at Newbury, UK, on Saturday, May 20. 

On his only previous appearance over the distance in the G1 Grosser Preis von Bayern at Munich, Germany, on November 1, the four-year-old colt stayed on to come home third behind Guignol and Racing History

Hawkbill, trained by Charlie Appleby and ridden by William Buick, makes his second start of 2017 after finishing fifth in the G1 Prix Ganay over an extended 10 furlongs at Saint-Cloud on May 1. 

As well as his game victory in the 10-furlong Eclipse Stakes, the son of Kitten's Joy also scored in 2016 over the same trip in the G3 Tercentenary Stakes at Royal Ascot and a Listed contest at Newmarket. 

He lines up against five others at Newbury including last year’s G1 Prince of Wales’s Stakes victor My Dream Boat, G2 winner Across The Stars and French G2 runner-up Midterm. 

Charlie Appleby said: “Hawkbill has come out of the Prix Ganay in good form. Stepping back up in trip is going to suit him and he should get his favoured ground at Newbury.

“I felt that he saw the mile and a half out well when he ran in Germany at the end of last season. 

“He just got out-sprinted last time out – it was a typical French race in that they went steady and then it turned into a sprint whereas Hawkbill is a galloper. 

“This is a tough race and a strong G3 but he should be a live contender.”