07/06/2002 12:00AM

Hawk Wing's win no surprise


As expected, Hawk Wing won the Group 1 Eclipse Stakes at Sandown on Saturday, beating his stablemate Sholokhov by 2 1/2 lengths.

A son of Woodman, Hawk Wing was the 3-5 favorite in the 10-furlong race, which was reduced to five runners after rain-softened ground prompted the withdrawal of Bach and No Excuse Needed.

A furlong and a half out, Hawk Wing ranged up to Sholokhov, who was running as the pacesetter just six days after having finished second in the Irish Derby. Ridden by Michael Kinane, Hawk Wing quickly put the result beyond doubt. The first two finishers are owned by Ballydoyle.

Godolphin's Equerry never threatened under Frankie Dettori and finished third, losing for the first time. The remaining two runners, Imperial Dancer and Indian Creek, at no stage troubled the principals.

Hawk Wing's trainer, Aidan O'Brien, was a relieved man after the win, especially as he had doubts about the going for Hawk Wing. He said: "He has always been very special but I was worried as he does not like this holding ground."

He was noncommital about future plans for the horse saying: "Hawk Wing is a unique horse and he will be able to step down to a mile or step back up to a mile and a half."