Hawkbill, ridden by William Buick and trained by Charlie Appleby, wins the Longines Dubai Sheema Classic during the Dubai World Cup meeting. Image Credit: Virendra Saklani/Gulf News

Dubai: A commanding front-running performance from Hawkbill saw Charlie Appleby train his second winner on the night with Godolphin completing a treble. This was run at a more sensible pace and William Buick rode his fractions perfectly. It may not have happened at all as in the stalls at the beginning Hawkbill reared up and got stuck. They had to take him out of the stalls and he passed a vets inspection before being reloaded and the rest as they say is history.

In the race itself, he jumped out quickly and took the lead immediately. He settled well and Buick set the race up for himself. Behind him Cloth Of Stars was pulling so hard that he was burning up his chances. All the time Poet’s Word was handy getting a great ride from Frankie Dettori. These three were to remain in these positions right the way to the finish and, when Buick asked the former Eclipse winner to lengthen, he did so nicely.

Shaikh Hamdan Bin Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, Shaikh Zayed Bin Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum and Shaikha Al Jalila Bint Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum with Juan-Carlos Capelli, Vice-President & Head of International Marketing of Longines, and Patrick Aoun, Regional Brand Manager, Longines, after Hawkbill won the Longines Dubai Sheema Classic at Meydan.  Ahmed Ramzan/Gulf News

Sir Michael Stoute’s Poet’s Word put down his best challenge but it just was not good enough and he finished a gallant second for owner Saeed Suhail. Hawksbill never got headed and really toughed it out. Despite his strong pulling Cloth Of Stars and Mickael Barzalona ran a huge race to finish third and all these three looks to be exciting prospects for the 2018 European racing season.

Charlie Appleby was obviously delighted and he said: “Hawkbill has been a model of consistency for myself always said he’s becoming a proper Godolphin horse now and obviously very lucky lots of support. In the gates I thought this isn’t going our way tonight but William has given him a fantastic ride and it’s just great to be a part of this.

Thankfully that’s my last ride for the 2018 carnival and to have two winners on Dubai World Cup night really has capped it off very well. It’s great for team Godolphin and His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum [Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai] for putting on such a spectacular evening.” It’s unfortunate that both my horses didn’t win. Buick has given him a fantastic ride. When it was in the gate and started to have bit of a go, I thought not this again please.”

Juan-Carlos Capelli and Patrick Aoun handing over the trophy to trainer Charlie Appleby. Ahmed Ramzan/Gulf News

He then praised his jockey. “William thoroughly deserve this as it was huge team effort,” he said. “Especially after Blue Point was scratched in the start, it was travelling up in the van wondering what will have one and then James (Doyle) was the first to land one. When you got two guys like that at your side there then my job is a lot easier.”

Jockey Buick added: “He got a bit restless in the gate but he is a ball of energy and very exuberant and he just wanted to get going little bit sooner than the others in the gate. His legs got off the partition but there was no harm done to him or the horse next to him. Thank God there and after that he put up a good performance. He was in a good rhythm and then got the lead and was breathing well. Without a question it was his best performance today. I was not really aware of what was going on behind me but my horse was lovely and relaxed on the lead and he did everything and gave himself every chance. It was very very efficient today.

Juan-Carlos Capelli and Patrick Aoun handing over the trophy to jockey William Buick.. Ahmed Ramzan/Gulf News

“I was starting to think it was not going to be my night after what happened earlier. You got to keep trying and I was disappointed at first. We are very competitive as a team and want to do things right. Whole team works hard but our teamwork comes naturally.”

This confirmed a successful night for Godolphin and Buick deserved this win after the disappointment of Blue Point being withdrawn earlier in the evening.