Lael Stables’ Hawksmoor (IRE), who arrived at Keeneland on Sunday from Europe, began her preparations for Saturday’s $500,000 Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup Presented by Lane’s End (G1) by going a little more than once around Keeneland’s five-furlong Training Track with Steve Gaillard aboard.
“She shipped well,” said Chris Durham, who accompanied the filly for trainer Hugo Palmer. “She is a seasoned traveler and has been all over Europe. She did not like it much last year as a 2-year-old, but she thrives on it now.”
Hawksmoor has won one of four races this year with that score coming in the German One Thousand Guineas (G2). In her most recent start, Hawksmoor finished fifth beaten six lengths in the Coolmore Fastnet Rock Matron (G1) at Leopardstown in Ireland.
“That was a very good race for her,” Durham said of the mile race that was won by three-time Group 1 winner Alice Springs (IRE). “The second horse (Persuasive [IRE]) had been unbeaten and the third filly (Qemah [IRE]) has won two Group 1s.”
Durham said the filly can be placed anywhere and has had success on the lead as well as stalking.
In her most recent start at the QE II distance of 1 1/8 miles, Hawksmoor set the pace in the Kilboy Estate Stakes (G2) at the Curragh and was caught late in finishing third.
Hawksmoor is scheduled for a schooling session at the starting gate Thursday.