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Godolphin’s Blue Point lights up Royal Ascot with scintillating display in King’s Stand Stakes

Four-year-old sprinter gained a breakthrough first G1 success over five furlongs on Tuesday.

Sport360 staff 2018/06/20

Four-year-old sprinter Blue Point gained a breakthrough first G1 success with a scintillating display in the King’s Stand Stakes over five furlongs at Royal Ascot on Tuesday.

The Charlie Appleby-trained Shamardal colt, third in the six-furlong G1 Commonwealth Cup at the same meeting in 2017, showed good early speed from the gates and soon raced behind the leaders in a close fourth as Battaash set a searching pace at the head of the 14-strong field.

Blue Point moved up to go second under William Buick with a furlong and a half left and reeled in Battaash just inside the final half-furlong before running on strongly to prevail by a length and three-quarters in a fast 58.14s on good to firm ground.

His Highness Sheikh Mohammed, Godolphin’s founder and driving force, said: “Blue Point was following the fast pace and was travelling very well. He hit the rise and gave more. I think that he is a very good horse.

“We raced him in Dubai and he was sweating very much but today he was very, very good. Charlie has been with us for a long time and he knows what we want – we always talk to each other about things. William is a very good jockey. They are two very good people.

“After Masar and the Derby, we are taking it very easy. We are enjoying ourselves and at Royal Ascot – whoever wins, we will clap for them. We are relaxing now, but we have some ammunition for the rest of the week.”

Charlie Appleby, celebrating his first G1 winner at Royal Ascot, declared: “Full credit has to go to the team at home who have done a fantastic job with Blue Point and getting him back to where he is.

“I couldn’t have been happier with his preparation in the last two weeks and I felt he was back at a level where he could compete after he did a great piece of work the other week.

“To have a Derby winner and then have a G1 winner at Royal Ascot is great and I don’t think I could have had Blue Point in any better nick. Sheikh Mohammed is a great man and coming into today, there was no pressure on us following Epsom as he just wanted to enjoy the week.

“I think the stiff five furlongs and strong pace has suited Blue Point here. I have always thought a lot of this horse and he ran really well in the Commonwealth Cup last year. For whatever reason, he brings his A game here.

“I was delighted with him at the start of the year in Dubai and, whilst things didn’t materialise on Dubai World Cup night, we went on to learn a lot in Hong Kong which taught us a few matters. The horse had a torrid time on his way back from Hong Kong, but we gave him a nice break after that and I’m delighted with him.

“Good horses sometimes need to be beaten to appreciate winning and, as a team, we felt Blue Point was one of the best juveniles we had ever seen in respect to his natural pace. He has got stronger from three to four and is built for speed.”

William Buick added: “This means a lot to Charlie, Sheikh Mohammed and the whole team at home at Moulton Paddocks.

“Everyone stuck their neck out about Blue Point as a two-year-old. Things have not gone his way in a lot of races, whereas today everything fell right today and to make him a G1 winner is very satisfying.

“I am pleased for the horse most of all because he deserves it more than anyone. Last time out [at Sha Tin], we got it wrong and it was a race we had to put a line through – there was no point judging him on that and he’s been in great form since.

“He is a very quick horse, and I was always very comfortable where I was and I knew he would see the race out better than Battaash because he’s proven at six furlongs. It was just a case of whether I would be close enough where it mattered.

“Things are going very well at the moment, I’m enjoying it and I’m not going to hide that. Everyone is working very hard, but it is important to look forward and there are a lot more important races to come this week for important horses.

“No one puts more pressure on me than myself, because I want to do well and win races. We are led by Sheikh Mohammed who has got to where he is by setting very high standards, and he expects that from everyone around him.”

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