Hawkeyethenoo primed for shot at memorable double

Jockey Graham Gibbons on Hoof It (right) goes on to win the Ralph Raper Memorial Handicap the during Day Three of the Dante Festival 2010, at York Racecourse
Jockey Graham Gibbons on Hoof It (right) goes on to win the Ralph Raper Memorial Handicap the during Day Three of the Dante Festival 2010, at York Racecourse
Markov and jockey Tom Bellamyon their way to victory. Picture: Fontwell Park

Honeyball hat-trick lights up Fontwell

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Reigning champion Hawkeyethenoo is on track to defend his Stewards’ Cup crown.

But before the six-furlong tear-up he will bid for another major prize at Ascot this weekend as trainer Jim Goldie targets a quick-fire double.

The seven-year-old was seventh in the Cash Out Multiples Only On Betfair International at the Berkshire course last year before gaining a thrilling nose verdict over Imperial Guest at Glorious Goodwood two weeks later.

Just seven days separate the £100,000 races this term – but that has yet to put Goldie off.

The Scottish-based trainer said: ‘Hawkeyethenoo is set to run at Ascot on Saturday and could then head to Goodwood.

‘There’s only a week between the two races this year and it depends on how he comes out of Ascot but he could run in both again.

‘He has never run a bad race at Ascot and the hill there plays to his strengths.

‘It’s debatable whether he can give weight to potential Group horses but he won the Stewards’ Cup off top-weight last year and it is interesting he will not have the same burden in the race this time if Hoof It turns up.’

Hoof It, meanwhile, will bid to give owner Lee Westwood a timely boost after the golfer missed out on Open glory on Sunday.

The six-year-old son of Monsieur Bond, who is trained by Mick Easterby and won the race in 2011, was seventh on his seasonal bow in the Listed City Walls Stakes at York earlier this month.

David Easterby, assistant to father Mick, said: ‘Hoof It has come out of York okay.

‘He was ring-rusty and will improve. He had problems in his couple of runs last season – which he took a while to accept – but we have sorted it now, so the future looks rosy.’

Elsewhere on the card, Irish Oaks third Just Pretending is set for the Nassau Stakes.

While Secret Gesture, who was ruled out of the Curragh battle through injury, may also return in the Group 1 contest.