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Hawkbill | Andrew Watkins/DRC

Hawkbill (Kitten’s Joy) capped a stellar day for Godolphin, giving the international powerhouse their third group win on Super Saturday when leading home a royal blue trifecta in Meydan’s nightcap, the $300,00 G2 Dubai City Of Gold over 2400 meters on the lawn. Gritty to the end and one of five for the boys in blue in the race, Hawkbill defeated Charlie Appleby stablemate Frontiersman (GB) (Dubawi (Ire) by a head, with Gold Star (GB) (Nathaniel {GB}) 5 1/4 lengths in arrears for Saeed bin Suroor.

Placed five off the fence a few lengths behind the vanguard in the scrum for ideal position, the flashy chestnut was full of run early and avoided trouble when Gilt Complex (NZ) (Gold Centre (Aus) went amiss to his outside midway on the first turn before being pulled up. Red-capped Frontiersman showed the way for the backstretch run, as another Godolphin silksbearer, Best Solution (Ire) (Kodiac {GB}) kept him honest one off and one back with 900 metres left. Meanwhile, Hawkbill charged up four wide a half-mile from home as William Buick let him out a notch and appeared poised to open up by daylight, but Frontiersman had other ideas. In lockstep with a quarter-mile to go, the duo battled all the way down the lane, with Hawkbill clawing past in the shadow of the post.

“They fought it out well and it was a good race,” said Buick. “I had quite a tough trip and the horse did really well, having to cover a bit of ground. It was a really good performance and he’s an exciting horse, who seems to get better with age.”

A winner of the 2016 G1 Coral-Eclipse S. at Sandown, the same year he was English 3-year-old highweight from 9 1/2 to 11 furlongs, Hawkbill had a solid, if not spectacular 2017 campaign, where he saluted second up in the G3 Aston Park S. at Newbury in May before a third to world traveler Highland Reel (Ire) (Galileo {Ire}) and Frontiersman in the G1 Coronation Cup S. at Epsom on June 2. Sixth in the G1 Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud across the channel a month later, the blaze-faced chestnut returned to the winner’s circle–one better than Frontiersman–in the G2 Princess Of Wales’s S. at headquarters later that month. A pair of runner-up appearances, in Hoppegarten’s G1 Grosser Preis von Berlin in August and in the Sept. 16 GI Northern Dancer Turf S. at Woodbine in Canada rounded out his 4-year-old season.

Pedigree Notes…

Hawkbill, one of 11 top-flight winners for his sire Kitten’s Joy, is a half-brother to GI Breeders’ Futurity hero Free Drop Billy (Union Rags), out of Grade III placed Trensa (Giant’s Causeway). Second dam Serape (Fappiano) struck in the GI Ballerina S., while Trensa’s half-sister Batique was a three-time Grade III winner. His third dam is SW and MGISP Mochila (In Reality), who is a half-sister to champion and successful sire Cozzene (Caro {Ire}). Trensa has a 2-year-old colt by Curlin, a yearling colt by More Than Ready, and she was covered by Kitten’s Joy last spring.

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