Hawkbill bounces back to best
Hawkbill saw off stablemate Frontiersman to emerge victorious in the Princess Of Wales's Arqana Racing Club Stakes at Newmarket.
Frontiersman was the 5-4 favourite having chased home Highland Reel in the Coronation Cup at Epsom on his previous start, with last year's Coral-Eclipse hero and Coronation Cup third Hawkbill sent off at 7-2 chance to bounce back from a disappointing run in France.
Hawkbill raced enthusiastically out in front throughout the mile-and-a-half journey under James Doyle, with Frontiersman ridden more patiently by William Buick.
Frontiersman was angled out to make his challenge racing inside the final two furlongs, but wandered under pressure and Hawkbill galloped on straight and true to claim victory.
The Charlie Appleby-trainer pair were clear of Algometer in third place.
Doyle said: "It was a great training performance by Charlie. You have to serve it up to him a bit.
"He takes life so well and gets so fresh. He ran well in the Coronation Cup and went out to France. He's turned up on his A game now and on his best form that race was well within his compass.
"He enjoyed himself out in front. I went out with a game plan just to let him enjoy himself at a speed he was comfortable at and let him roll along and give him plenty of time to hit top stride.
"He was very tough. I think he's best at a mile and a half with ease in the ground – the softer the better for him. We got away with the ground today. The drop of rain we had definitely helped him.
"He's had plenty of races and takes them so well."
Appleby said: "I'm delighted with Hawkbill. People thought we were putting him in there as a pace-setter. We knew he would set a decent gallop, but he was in there in his own right.
"He's dangerous when he gets an uncontested lead. We've seen that time and time again with him. His antics before the race, we've seen before. He was awash with sweat and that's him.
"Frontiersman was still wandering around but the more experience he gets under his belt the penny will drop. He is a good horse and has proved it will two solid performances. To finish second to Hawkbill is no disgrace. He's a horse that's learning on the game.
"Ideally, at some stage I've got to give Hawkbill a break. With Frontiersman we'll look to Ascot and the King George. He won't be out of place. Hopefully he'll come on again."
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