Godolphin‘s Blue Point confirmed his superiority over Battaash to win back-to-back renewals of the King’s Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot.
Billed as a match between the big two, it developed into everything race fans wanted inside the final furlong – but Charlie Appleby’s five-year-old was pulling away at the line.
In the early stages Jim Crowley on Battaash was tracking Houtzen, but they were on their own and just after halfway Crowley took the decision to track over towards the main group.
As Blue Point moved to the head of that pack, Battaash travelled up strongly alongside him, only for James Doyle’s mount to see it out the strongest.
The 5-2 chance won by a length and a quarter, with Soldier’s Call just pipping Mabs Cross for third to prevent an identical result to last year.
Appleby said: “I was concerned the ground might get too soft for him, but it can rain as much as it likes now!
“We’ve all been very much involved in this horse. It’s great for William (Buick) being here and the team at home have done a fantastic job with this horse.
“To do back-to-back wins in this race is fantastic, as I knew he’s going to have a great career at stud when he retires at the end of the season.
“During the winter we saw how much more professional he was. He’s strengthened and when William got off him after his first start in Dubai he said he was a different animal. He’s the finished article now.
“I’ve got a great team behind me and it’s great for Sheikh Mohammed and his family being here.
“We’ll give him a little break and work back from the Abbaye at some stage.”
Doyle said: “It worked out very well, very smooth, just how we saw it on paper.
“I knew we’d have to do it on our own and while I wasn’t always in front, I was leading my batch and I thought it was a real testament to himself.
“Battaash came to him late on and he held him off. He’s more electric on faster ground, but he’s a real tough horse and the good ones go on anything.”
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