Hawkbill
Image reproduced with the kind permission of Sandown Park Racecourse

Hawkbill dominated from start to finish as he landed the Group One LONGINES Dubai Sheema Classic at Meydan.

Ten lined-up for this 1 ½ mile contest, which attracted a truly global field.

However, William Buick, who had seen Blue Point withdrawn from the Al Quoz Sprint, must have felt a sense of deja vu at the stalls, as the vets examined Hawkbill before giving him the green light to participate.

When the gates opened, Hawkbill was straight into the lead and dictated the fractions, with Cloth Of Stars and Poet’s Word tracking him.

Trapped against the rails, Cloth Of Stars failed to really settle, as Hawkbill and Buick continued to dictate.

Leaving the back straight, Poet’s Word was being niggled along and Cloth Of Stars appeared to be short of room turning for home.

Hawkbill lengthened and a gap finally opened for Cloth Of Stars, but he and Poet’s Word could not bridge the two length gap and Hawkbill ran out a smooth winner.

Poet’s Word was second, with Cloth Of Stars third, as Hawkbill gave Charlie Appleby a big race double on the card.

Appleby was enjoying his second winner of the evening, having earlier broke his World Cup night duck with Jungle Cat in the Al Quoz Sprint.

He said: “Hawkbill has been a model of consistency and Will has given him a fantastic ride.

“When he was in the gates and started to have a bit of a go I thought ‘oh, no’, but he was sound and they’ve allowed him to run and I’m delighted.

“It’s a huge team effort.”

Stoute was delighted with the performance of Poet’s Word, who was bouncing back from a disappointing effort in the Hong Kong Cup.

The Freemason Lodge handler is eyeing an appearance at Royal Ascot for his charge.

Stoute said: “This horse never lets us down and when things didn’t go well for him in Hong Kong, it was a one-off as he could never get a position.

“He’s just a model of consistency and equally effective at 10 furlongs and 12 furlongs, which gives us options at Royal Ascot.”