Thursday, August 14, 2003
HAWK WING IS RETIRED
The racing career of Hawk Wing, one of the most charismatic performers of recent seasons, has unfortunately been ended by the knee ligament injury he suffered when a very hot favourite to add the Gr.1 Queen Anne Stakes to his impressive record. He will now join the stallion team at Coolmore in Ireland.
Hawk Wing's injury at Royal Ascot caused him to finish out of the first two for the only time in his 11 races on turf. Prior to that, he had shown a very rare blend of speed and stamina which had enabled him to become a Group 1 winner over seven, eight and ten furlongs and to finish second in the Derby. He also achieved the rare feat of winning Group 1 races at the ages of two, three and four.
Hawk Wing's first Gr.1 win, in the Aga Khan Studs National Stakes, was gained in new course record time. That effort earned Hawk Wing an International Classification rating of 122, which placed him second behind the remarkable Johannesburg, ahead of the likes of Dubai Destination, Rock of Gibraltar, Act One and High Chaparral. It was also good enough to make him a hot favourite for the 2000 Guineas, in which many considered him an unlucky loser after he failed by only a neck to catch the redoubtable Rock of Gibraltar. The official Form Book told the story: "Hawk Wing, drawn on the wrong side, finished five lengths clear of the next runner from that
group.There is no doubt he should have won this"
Luck again wasn't on Hawk Wingıs side when he started favourite for the Derby, in that the rain-softened ground increased the demands on his unproven stamina. In the circumstances he emerged with considerable credit, drawing 12 lengths clear of the third-placed Moon Ballad in finishing two lengths behind High Chaparral.
That was the only time Hawk Wing was asked to tackle a distance as long as a mile and a half and he showed his appreciation with a decisive victory in the historic Coral Eurobet Eclipse Stakes over a mile and a quarter and a spectacular triumph in the Juddmonte Lockinge Stakes over a mile. Although up against Gr.1-winning milers like Where Or When and Breedersı Cup Mile winner Domedriver, Hawk Wing took the latter by no less than 11 lengths. The scale of his achievement was reflected in his BHB rating of 137, the highest given to a miler since the brilliant El Gran Senor in 1984, while Timeform awarded him a rating of 138.
In addition to his exceptional talent, Hawk Wing has been described as having "movie star good looks" and has a pedigree guaranteed to suit many European mares. He was bred to be a champion, as his sire Woodman was the best juvenile of his year in Ireland and his dam La Lorgnette was a champion in Canada, where she defeated the colts in the Queenıs Plate, part of the Canadian Triple Crown. With Northern Dancer back in the fourth generation of his pedigree, Hawk Wing will be a virtual outcross for mares by many of the previous stallions which have helped make Coolmore arguably the world's most famous stallion station. Hawk Wingıs fee for 2004 has yet to be decided.
For old articles (from 1st March 2000) go to the Newslink