Injured Hawk Wing unlikely to race again Racing News and previews

 

Horse Racing: Aidan O'Brien conceded yesterday that Hawk Wing's chances of ever racing again are "slim".

The triple Group One winner picked up a serious leg injury when only seventh in Royal Ascot's Queen Anne Stakes and has not been responding as hoped to treatment in recent weeks.

The Prix du Moulin and the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes had been touted as possible return dates for Hawk Wing but his next stop looks likely to be at stud.

"The situation is that we won't make a decision until probably next week but I would say his chances of racing are probably slim," O'Brien said yesterday.

Hawk Wing, a brilliant 11-length winner of the Lockinge on his only start as a four-year-old, strained a ligament at the back of his near-fore knee at Ascot.

Group One victories in the National Stakes and the Eclipse were highlights of Hawk Wing's often frustrating career, which included runner-up placings in the Derby, the 2,000 Guineas and the Irish Champion Stakes.

High Chaparral, who beat Hawk Wing in the Derby, remains on track to reappear in Sunday's Royal Whip Stakes and O'Brien's proviso about safe going looks like being met.

Some 1.5 mms of overnight rain, added to thundery showers and steady drizzle yesterday, meant no watering took place at the Curragh.

"It is genuinely good ground and I am happy there is no jar in it. It's perfect at the moment but we will keep the situation under review," said the Curragh manager, Paul Hensey, yesterday.

Sunday's Curragh Group 1 highlight will be the Waterford Wedgwood Phoenix Stakes, and Neville Callaghan has indicated his Brighton winner Notable Lady will take her chance in that rather than the Debutante Stakes on the same card.

A second successive double date has Tipperary and Sligo racing today, and the southern track hosts an intriguing four-runner juvenile race.

Aidan O'Brien unveils a Sadlers Wells colt, Moscow Ballet, rejoicing in the same name as Vincent O'Brien's 1984 Railway Stakes winner.

Dermot Weld also has a newcomer, Favourite Nation, while Danticat is a course and distance winner. Preference, however, is for Groom Raider, runner up to Mustameet on his Curragh debut last month.

Dermot Weld's Former Senator has been a dire disappointment in three starts this season but first time out over a mile and a half he will rarely get a better chance to break his maiden than in this evening's opener.

A clear round will surely see Grimes home in the conditions chase and Ballyconnell's proven ability on fast ground can see this frustrating sort finally get a win in the Beginners Chase.

Dr Knock, a failed gamble at Galway, tries to win Sligo's apprentice handicap for the second year running and with the slight dig forecast for the ground, and racing off a 7 lb lower mark than last year, should prevail.

Sophiyah beat the supposed handicap good thing at Galway last weekend and a 5lb penalty shouldn't be enough to stop the Morgan runner.

The Goffs sales company yesterday announced post-tax profits of over €4.6 million for the year ended March 31st.

The 22 per cent increase came on the back of a sales-ring turnover of €72 million, the second-highest in Goffs history.

Releasing the annual report, Chairman Michael Osborne said: "Bloodstock is maintaining an encouraging position in comparison to the investment environment and general economy."

Horse Racing Ireland revealed yesterday there will be two new Grade One races in the upcoming winter jumping season. The John James McManus Memorial Hurdle (October 5th) and the William Neville and Sons Novice Chase (December 28th) have been promoted from Grade Two.

Making the leap to Grade Two are Cork's Hilly Way Chase (December 14th) and the Woodlands Park 100 Club Novice Chase at Naas (January 24th).

HRI director of racing Jason Morris said: "The continuing improvement in the quality of the Irish jumping horse has allowed HRI to further enhance the pattern race programme."