Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Hawk Wing Can Prove He's the Champion Miler

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Hawk Wing Can Prove He's the Champion Miler

Article excerpt


FENCE sitting isn't an option when the world's most spectacular week of Flat racing begins at Royal Ascot.

Five days of unrelenting action will settle arguments worth millions of pounds on and off the track, and the burning question tomorrow relates to whether the runaway Lockinge Stakes hero Hawk Wing can justify his status as a day one banker in the Queen Anne Stakes.

You better believe he can. Mick Kinane took everyone by surprise as the stalls opened at Newbury by allowing Hawk Wing to use his raking stride to full effect in front.

The ploy worked like a charm as Hawk Wing blitzed a high-class field, leaving connections of tomorrow's rivals scratching their heads as to how they can possibly reverse the form.

Terry Mills feels tactics will play a major role this time and is desperate to see his stable star Where Or When given a more forceful ride.

Godolphin seem of the same mind given that Blatant is in as a pacemaker for the rejuvenated Dubai Destination, while the pugnacious Mark Johnston will ensure that Desert Deer and Gateman help force what could be a searing gallop. But the bad news for all of them is that the chances of Hawk Wing being suckered into a battle for the lead are on a par with the Queen turning up at Ascot wearing jeans, trainers and a baseball cap.

Aidan O'Brien knows full well that the opposition will be using team tactics, so expect the wily Kinane to settle Hawk Wing behind the leaders.

Much of what happens thereafter depends on how the opposing jockeys play their cards, but Desert Deer is a formidable galloper when on song and won't give up the lead without a fight provided his refusal to enter the stalls before the Lockinge was just a one-off.

Dubai Destination is harder to assess after making the most of a straightforward opening at Nottingham. …

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