Speed is King in Blue Point Stakes

Defending Champion Lazuli and 2021 winner Equilateral are among 13 speedsters set to clash in the Group 2 Meydan Sprint, the highlight of Friday’s sixth Carnival meeting.

The 1000metre turf dash has attracted an international line-up, with horses from the UK, Ireland and the Czech Republic taking on Godolphin’s Lazuli (pictured), who warmed up for this with a smooth win over course and distance a month ago. He is engaged in a private battle with Man Of Promise, also trained by Charlie Appleby, who takes his chance here from stall five, having finished second in the Listed Dubai Sprint last time out. When racing against each other, Lazuli and Man Of Promise have a win each.

“Lazuli is tried and tested over five furlongs at Meydan and this is his optimum trip,” said Appleby. “He is in great form and, even with his draw in stall one, he has speed horses around him and looks the one to beat.

“Man Of Promise ran a good solid race over this distance in the Ertijaal Dubai Dash and seems to be taking his racing better these days.”

The local challenge is bolstered by the smart Khuzaam, trained by Doug Watson, winner of the Listed Jebel Ali Sprint last season. He makes his first start since finishing seventh in the Group 1 Al Quoz Sprint in March.

“Khuzaam has taken a bit of time to come around, but is really well,” said Watson. “The long layoff is a worry but he’s a really nice horse.”

From overseas comes Czech raider Ponntos, third to Lazuli last time, while Irish trainer Johnny Murtagh is represented by the speedy filly Ladies Church, who takes a notable drop in grade after running in the Group 1 Flying Five Stakes last time out.

“She is in very good form, but like all our horses who travelled to Dubai this season, she will probably need her first run of the year,” said Murtagh, who has targeted the Carnival for the first time this year.

The evening’s main dirt race is the G3 UAE 2000 Guineas, race six, which dates back to 2000. The 2020 edition was won by the Doug O’Neill-trained Fore Left and the California-based handler returns with another exciting candidate in Tall Boy. A maiden after four starts, the son of Lookin At Lucky has kept some good company and was fourth in the G2 Los Alamitos Futurity on his most recent start in December.

“The reason he’s in Dubai is because we think he’s capable of being pointed to the UAE Derby,” said Leandro Mora, Assistant Trainer. “He has two Kentucky Derby points already and we like him because he’s run three tough races against Bob Baffert horses. He’s a gentle giant with a lot of talent.

“We think this race might suit him as he loves the surface at Meydan.”

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