Hawkbill can take full advantage of his weight allowance by winning the Juddmonte International Stakes at York, the feature event on day one of the Ebor meeting.
The Classic generation get an 8lb allowance in the 10-furlong showpiece and given how tight it looks on the official ratings in this high-class affair, such a pull could well prove crucial on the Knavesmire.
And Hawkbill already has the form credentials to be a leading contender as his Eclipse victory last month showed him to be one of the key middle-distance players.
His half-length defeat of The Gurkha is form that was subsequently boosted by that rival’s Sussex Stakes victory while the reopposing My Dream Boat was well accounted for in fifth.
That was Hawkbill’s sixth successive win, with a Listed victory at Newmarket and a Group Three Royal Ascot verdict perfectly underlining this colt’s thoroughly progressive profile. Quicker ground is an unknown variable so far but as a son of Kitten’s Joy, it would be a surprise if Hawkbill could not acquit himself equally as well on a lively terrain.
Postponed, Highland Reel and the like are of course worthy opponents, but Hawkbill appears to be reaching the peak of his powers now and might have a bit more toe at the trip than that pair, whose admittedly top-notch highlights have generally come at a mile and a half.
Across The Stars can really cement his St Leger claims with victory in the Betway Great Voltigeur Stakes. Sir Michael Stoute’s charge looked a likely candidate for Doncaster when bouncing back from a so-so Derby run to lift the King Edward VII at Royal Ascot in fine style.
Having been all at sea at Epsom, Across The Stars looked a different horse in Berkshire, staying on gamely when challenged to run out a length-and-a-quarter winner from Beacon Rock.
CARLISLE: 2.10 Raise A Billion, 2.45 Racemaker, 3.20 Portland Street, 3.55 Dawn Mirage, 4.30 She’s Electric, 5.05 Tectonic, 5.40 Bell Weir.
CHEPSTOW: 2.20 Island In The Sky, 2.55 Tadkhirah, 3.30 Curriculum, 4.05 Force, 4.40 Bonjour Steve, 5.15 Diamonds A Dancing, 5.45 File Of Facts.
KEMPTON: 6.40 Masonic, 7.10 Torquay, 7.40 Owaseyf, 8.10 Murad Khan, 8.40 Hatsaway, 9.10 Deer Song.
WORCESTER: 5.00 Caspian Piper, 5.30 Bincombe, 6.00 Pull The Trigger, 6.30 Avel Vor, 7.00 Sinbad The Sailor, 7.30 Bagad Bihoue, 8.00 Unify.
YORK: 1.55 Hoofalong, 2.30 Lockheed (treble), 3.50 Across The Stars (next best), 3.45 HAWKBILL (NAP), 4.20 Life Less Ordinary, 4.55 The Wagon Wheel.