Hawkbill bounces back with comprehensive Newbury win
Last year's Eclipse Stakes hero Hawkbill bounced back to his best with a comprehensive victory in the Al Rayyan Stakes at Newbury.
The Godolphin-owned colt, trained by Charlie Appleby, lost his form in the closing months of the last campaign, but he reaped the benefit of a pipe-opener in France three weeks ago by making most of the running over a mile and a half at the Berkshire circuit.
Hawkbill (3-1F) stretched out in the long straight and scored by two lengths from My Dream Boat, who came from from the rear to be a clear second.
Afterwards winning jockey William Buick said: "Charlie was very positive about going on and making the running.
"He came forward from that race in France – it's done him the world of good
"He stays well, he likes to get his toe in and I was very happy with the performance.
"He's back on track now."
Appleby said: "I was pleased with his run in the Ganay (fifth).
"They went a French pace there and it didn't suit us, but most importantly he got a run under his belt. He definitely came forward for the run.
"Full credit to the team at home. They look after the horse and they all felt he had come forward.
"He'll go wherever the ground is. He's in everything.
"He's a better horse with that ease in the ground. He's one of the few horses who can actually quicken on soft ground and he's done that this time.
"When we compete at the top level there has to be ease in the ground."