Hawkesbury may not be the most original choice but he is the clear pick on the form for the AR Legal Collections Houghton Conditions Stakes at Newmarket.
Trained by Charlie Appleby, the colt already boasts a rating of 104 after winning one of his three starts, but it is his placed efforts that really catch the eye.
As a son of Shamardal and Falmouth winner Nahoodh, he ticks all the pedigree boxes and was well fancied to make a winning bow at Kempton back in June.
However, he bumped into Limato that day and we all know just how good Henry Candy’s colt is having gone on to take strong Listed prizes at both Newbury and Redcar.
Hawkesbury duly went on to a seven-length maiden success at Doncaster, with two of the four runners coming out to win, before lining up in the Washington Singer at Newbury, where he was beaten into second by Belardo.
The merit of that form was evident as Belardo won the Dewhurst last week and given Hawkesbury was found to be lame the next day, who knows how much closer he could have got to the winner.
Hawkesbury will almost certainly not offer much value in the market but it would be folly to go against what appears to be the form runner with any amount of improvement still to come.
Crafty Choice can bring up his four-timer in the Zetland Conditions Stakes.
Richard Hannon’s charge has really started to come into his own of late, clearly appreciating the move up from six furlongs when scoring over seven at Brighton in August before going in again over a mile at Newmarket.
Both those victories came on quicker ground but Crafty Choice showed he can handle cut just as well when breezing home by three lengths at Nottingham earlier this month.
That victory came over nine furlongs and taking note of the manner in which he was staying on that day, a mile and a quarter should present few problems.
* Selections -
FONTWELL: 2.25 Aso, 3.00 Deputy Dan, 3.35 Carobello, 4.10 Pressies Girl, 4.45 Vikekhal, 5.15 Speed Check, 5.45 Lifeboat Mona.
KEMPTON: 5.55 Teide Peak, 6.25 Moiety, 6.55 Natural Nine, 7.25 China Club, 7.55 Nathr, 8.25 Hard To Handel, 8.55 Exchequer, 9.25 Copper Cavalier.
NAVAN: 1.35 Captain Power, 2.05 Calm Bay, 2.40 Class Mate, 3.15 Vasoni, 3.50 Katimavik, 4.25 Sierra Sun, 5.00 A Greater Force, 5.30 Sword Fish.
NEWMARKET: 1.30 Pamona, 2.00 Lashkaal, 2.35 Great Park, 3.10 Nayel, 3.45 HAWKESBURY (NAP), 4.20 Racing History, 4.55 Crafty Choice, 5.25 Acclio.
WORCESTER: 2.15 Kilcascan, 2.50 Midnight Belle, 3.25 To The Sky, 4.00 Charlie’s Oscar, 4.35 Ardnahoe, 5.05 Spirit Oscar, 5.35 Binge Drinker.
DOUBLE: Hawkesbury and Crafty Choice.