where the horse is always the hero
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Posted 2019-03-30 14:40:58  
Blues for everyone as Godolphin take Al Quoz

Blue Point stamped his claim to being the best sprinter on the planet when he stormed to victory in the 1200m Al Quoz Sprint sponsored by Azizi Developments (G1).

Blue Point stopped the clock in 1.08.39, only narrowly sitting outside the mark set by last year's Al Quoz Sprint winner Jungle Cat when taking the Nad Al Sheba Turf Sprint last March. In doing so, he provided a second success on the card for trainer Charlie Appleby, jockey William Buick and owners Godolphin, coming hot on the heels of Melbourne Cup winner Cross Counter's triumphant return in the Dubai Gold Cup sponsored by Al Tayer Motors (G2).

This was Blue Point's second Group 1 victory, adding to his win in the 1000m King's Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot last June, and it hardly looked in doubt as he cantered up towards the leaders at the 300m. Once Buick shook the reins, it took only a handful of strides before he had the pacesetters in his sights.

As has been the case so often in recent years, the American sprinters were so close without finding the winner's stall. The Peter Miller-trained duo Belvoir Bay and Stormy Liberal looked likely at the 300m to give the United States their first victory in the Al Quoz Sprint before being overhauled by the classy winner.

Blue Point scored by a length and a quarter over Belvoir Bay, with a further three-quarters of a length back to Stormy Liberal in third. The Australian mare Viddora finished six lengths behind the winner in fourth.

The Al Quoz Sprint win takes Blue Point's record to nine wins from 18 starts, with the son of Shamardal's total earnings now topping US$2.5 million.


Charlie Appleby, Trainer, BLUE POINT (1st)—“You have got a combination here of William and the horse. They thrive off each other. William knows him inside out. I knew from the body language, as much as you never get confident too soon, but I felt that William had pretty much everything covered there. I'm delighted. I have always been very fond of him, ever since his 2-year-old days and he's doing what we always hoped he would do one day and that is to become a finished article in the top sprinting division.”

Asked about Royal Ascot: “Hopefully, we all know it's a tough game but if he turns up fit and well, he is going to be there to try and defend his crown in the King's Stand Stakes. I spoke to His Highness and we said that as long as he ran well here that would be the plan.”

William Buick, Jockey, BLUE POINT (1st)—“That was nice and straightforward and the horse deserved it. He has been foot-perfect in his two lead-up races to this and he has copied that today. He travelled really strongly and has again shown a great turn of foot. When he got to the front he knows he has done enough. It is great at the age of five he is showing everyone just how good he is and he has always shown us so much speed. I remember riding him as a 2-year-old and I'd never ridden a faster horse before he made his debut. He has developed into a top-class sprinter now."

Peter Miller, Trainer, BELVOIR BAY (2nd)/STORMY LIBERAL (3rd)—“They were super runs, they both ran their races, I can’t complain about it. We just got beat by the home team and that was probably the difference. I think maybe if the race was at Santa Anita we might have had the edge.

“All congratulations to Sheikh Mohammed and his team. Blue Point is a super horse and it was no disgrace finishing second and third to him. I’m very pleased we came over. I’m hoping maybe I’ll see Blue Point in the Breeders’ Cup at Santa Anita. He can come and we’ve got a score to settle.”

Flavien Prat, Jockey, BELVOIR BAY (2nd)—“I knew she had improved going into the race and could run well, and that’s what she did. She had a good trip through the race and liked the track. She’s a great fighter but just couldn’t catch the winner.”

Joel Rosario, Jockey, STORMY LIBERAL (3rd)—“He ran really well and the one in the lead looked very good. All went well through the race.”

Joe Bowditch, Jockey, VIDDORA (4th)—“ I was tracking the winner Blue Point and at halfway I asked my mare to go with him. She couldn’t quite do that, but she batted on well for fourth. She has run with credit having travelled so far from Australia. Blue Point must be very good to clock a time like that on a track that to me didn’t appear super fast.”

Oisin Murphy, Jockey, SANDS OF MALI (6th)—“He’s run OK. It was his first run in five months.”

Alexis Badel, Jockey, WISHFUL THINKER (7th)— “The horse ran well and he tried very hard. But unfortunately, I had to get outside and this time I didn't have good leaders on the outside so I moved a little bit and tried to follow the pace. I never was in the race, I think. He went alright. He wasn't flat when I asked him but this is quite different from Hong Kong. The pace wasn't very fast and he needs more pace to win.”

Hugh Bowman, Jockey, BRAVE SMASH (8th)—“I had a lovely run in transit, but my horse was just a bit free for me in mid-stages, which took away from his excellent finish unfortunately.”

Jim Crowley, Jockey, EKHTIYAAR (9th)—“I followed the winner the whole way. I missed the kick a little bit, but when that happened I was content to follow Blue Point. He just didn’t really finish out.”

Ryan Moore, Jockey, LOST TREASURE (10th)—“He never really got into it. He’ll improve for the run.”

Adrie de Vries, Jockey, MAZZINI (11th)—“He kind of blew all his chances coming out of the gate. He jumped OK but he jumped into the air. It takes momentum away, so before he landed he was in the back of the field. You can’t make up that ground against these horses.”

Anthony Darmanin, Jockey, ILLUSTRIOUS LAD (12th)—“He travelled really strong in the race, came out like he was going to do something but was very disappointing late.”

Joe Talamo, Jockey, CARIBOU CLUB (13th)—“We had a really good trip and I broke really good. I was following the winner the whole way but then we couldn't quite keep up. This is pretty tough competition but he's a hard trying horse and I know he's going to come back from this and he'll be good going forward.”


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