where the horse is always the hero
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Posted 2018-03-31 20:26:52  
Hawkbill Victorious in Sheema

After a scary few moments in the starting gate during which he got his front legs tangled over the side of his stall, Godolphin’s Hawkbill burst away from the pack to an early lead and never looked back, taking down the top prize in the $6 million Longines Dubai Sheema Classic.


Victory by the Kentucky-bred son of Kitten’s Joy in the 2410m event, annually one of the world’s most prestigious races, gave Godolphin its third winner of the Dubai World Cup programme.


“He put it all together,” praised jockey William Buick of Hawkbill. “When he has an uncontested lead, he is a dangerous horse. I thought if he had things his own way, he would be a tough nut to crack.


“He put in a brilliant performance,” Buick continued. “He’s got some turn of foot.”


Trainer Charlie Appleby happily punched the air as Hawkbill soared past the finish line three lengths clear of runner-up Poet’s Word, who in turn was a neck in front of third-placed Cloth of Stars. The win was the second on the program for Appleby, who also sent out Godolphin’s Jungle Cat to win the Al Quoz Sprint sponsored by Azizi Developments.


“You couldn’t have designed it any better,” Appleby said. “William gave him a tremendous ride, as he always does.


“It’s all about the horses, His Highness (Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum of Godolphin) having winners. I’m going home saying the 2018 Dubai World Cup Carnival has been very successful. I always wanted to get the horse’s head in front in another Group 1 race—he’s cemented that after his racing days he’ll be a very successful stallion.


“Going into it we were hopeful he’d run well and we’ll look at a race in Hong Kong at the end of May. We’ll let the horse decide,” he said.


Hawkbill completed the race, run over a course rated good, in 2:29.45.


Following Cloth of Stars across the finish line were Japan’s champion Rey de Oro, Best Solution, Mozu Katchan, Satono Crown, Idaho, Desert Encounter and Khalidi.


Race Quotes:


Trainer Charlie Appleby (Hawkbill, 1st) – “It’s all about the horses, His Highness having winners and Godolphin and to sign off with William giving Hawkbill at tremendous ride, I’m going home saying the 2018 Dubai World Cup Carnival has been very successful. We thought he’d be competitive. I always wanted to get the horse’s head in front in another Group 1 race - he’s cemented that after his racing days he’ll be a very successful stallion.


“Going into it we were hopeful he’d run well and we’ll look at a race in Hong Kong at the end of May. We’ll let the horse decide.”


Jockey William Buick (Hawkbill, 1st) – “It’s been a very up and down night to say the least but we were thinking we’d dotted all the i’s crossed all the t’s. Blue Point went to the start beautifully, but there was something the vet wasn’t happy with.


“Thank God Charlie and James won and obviously now with Hawkbill, you can sum it up as a good night. There were a couple of scary moments before the start but he got himself together and put his race head on.”


Trainer Sir Michael Stoute (Poet’s World, 2nd) – “I said beforehand that you had to put a line through his last run in Hong Kong. He was drawn wide and never got in – there were mitigating circumstances for that run. He’s very consistent and has run some big races in Group 1 races, and he’s a lovely horse to be around. He goes on any ground and he’s versatile in that he seems to be as effective at ten furlongs (2000m) or twelve (2400m). I expected him to run well tonight and he did not let us down.”


Jockey Frankie Dettori (Poet’s World, 2nd) – “He was keen and I thought it might be a muddling race beforehand. William (Buick) made the running and I sat second behind him for much of the way and I ideally would like to have gone faster. The first three home were the first three all the way round. He has ran a super race but I knew at the top of the straight when William was three lengths clear that it was all over.”


Trainer Andre Fabre (Cloth of Stars, 3rd) – “Very good run to be third, having been so keen.”


Jockey Mickael Barzalona (Cloth of Stars, 3rd) – “He was too keen. He ran a good race but was too keen all of the way.”


Trainer Kazuo Fujisawa (Rey De Oro, 4th) –"The pace was a bit slow. He delivered his closing speed but it was the same speed as the winner. He is still young and has plenty of scope."


Jockey Christophe Lemaire (Rey De Oro, 4th) – “Slow pace, he was very keen. He reacted well but he can’t catch the front horses.”


Jockey Pat Cosgrave (Best Solution, 5th) – “He was a bit keen, but he ran a good race.”


Trainer Ippo Sameshima (Mozu Katchan, 6th) – “It would have been nice if we could have ran closer to the pace but with the slow pace she got stuck. She tried her best at the end so she wasn’t beaten because of lack of ability.”


Jockey Christian Demuro (Mozu Katchan, 6th) – “She ran good for her first time in Dubai. It was a really slow pace and I don’t think the distance is too long for her.”


Jockey Joao Moreira (Satono Crown, 7th) – “The horse next to me jumped into my side of the gate, and he was also bumped from the others during the race, so that is why he could not deliver his best.”


Jockey Silvestre de Sousa (Khalidi, 10th) – “They went too slowly for him and he was a little keen, but really they were better than him on the night.”


Jockey Sean Levey (Desert Encounter, 9th) - “He ran well enough to be fair, especially as he was coming back after a long layoff.”

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