Sizzling Blue Point completes historic sprint double at Royal Ascot

Press Association Sport 21:05 22/06/2019
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Godolphin‘s Blue Point clung on grimly to complete a remarkable Royal Ascot double in the Diamond Jubilee Stakes.

Having successfully defended his crown in the King’s Stand on Tuesday, Charlie Appleby’s five-year-old was turned out just four days later in a bid to follow in the hoofprints of the Australian speedball Choisir – the last horse to win both races in 2003.

With the rapid Kachy adopting his customary pacesetting role, the 6-4 favourite got the perfect lead into the race and his rider James Doyle was still sitting motionless Racing inside the final two furlongs.

Once asked to go about his business, Blue Point quickly took a couple of lengths out of the field and at that stage looked set to score decisively.

However, the Sir Michael Stoute-trained Dream Of Dreams and Danny Tudhope finished with a real flourish and were only a head down at the line.

Kachy boxed on to finish third ahead of Speak In Colours in fourth.

Appleby said: “I thought about doing both races after he did a great piece of work the week before the King’s Stand.

“His Highness (Sheikh Mohammed) came into town a bit early and was looking round at the Ascot runners, and I said if he was happy I’d leave Blue Point in on the Saturday and let’s just dream we can win the King’s Stand and give ourselves the opportunity of potentially having a crack at the Diamond Jubilee.

“He’s going to retire this year and he’s a superstar of a horse.

“Sheikh Mohammed made the call. I just gave him the information on the horse. It was so sporting of him to bring Masar back as well. That is what the sport is all about, seeing good horses through their three- and four-year-old careers.”

Doyle said: “He’s a horse you dream about. He’s learnt what his job is all about and has learnt with each race. He went down to the start like a complete professional.

“He was a little bouncy and excitable in the gates, but he jumps and travels, just everything you need to do. Kachy ran a hell of a lick and I was trying to keep a lid on my horse.

“He is so genuine, he was trying to run him down earlier than ideal, so I was trying to preserve all his energy for as long as I could. I was mindful going that extra furlong.

“When we got there he was a bit lonely, he felt the other horse come and stuck his neck out. He’s an amazing horse. Maybe five and a half furlongs would be easier!”

He added: “Full credit to Charlie. I feel sorry for Will (Buick). This is a massive meeting for him to miss out on, but he’s here in full support. It’s great to see him.”

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Godolphin's Pinatubo breaks track record with impressive Chesham Stakes victory

Press Association Sport 18:30 22/06/2019
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Godolphin’s Pinatubo maintained his unbeaten record with a deeply impressive display in the Chesham Stakes at Royal Ascot.

Having followed up his winning debut at Wolverhampton with victory in the Woodcote at Epsom three weeks ago, Charlie Appleby’s colt was a 3-1 shot to complete his hat-trick in this seven-furlong Listed event under James Doyle.

The well-touted 5-4 favourite Lope Y Fernandez moved towards the front racing inside the final two furlongs, but Pinatubo covered the move and quickly asserted his authority – pulling clear to score emphatically by three and a quarter lengths.

Lope Y Fernandez was a clear second ahead of Highland Chief in third.

Appleby said: “I’m delighted – he came here with the right credentials.

“He surprised me first time up when he won at Wolverhampton, but learnt plenty. We went to Epsom confident on the back of that and he showed an impressive turn of foot that day.

“I was confident throughout the race today that we were going to get the business done.

“We’ll step up in class now, obviously. Something like the Vintage Stakes (at Goodwood) could be for him, the way he travels. The National Stakes (at the Curragh) wouldn’t be out of the question later.”

Doyle said: “He’s quite a sleepy horse at home and just goes up and down. You wouldn’t notice him in the string.

“He travelled fantastic today. It was just a case of keeping a lid on him for the early part of the race. Obviously his experience at Epsom brought him on a lot. He hit the lids well and I had to hang on to him to save that energy.

“Once we got a bit of room he quickened up well and put the race to bed nicely.

“I can see him getting another furlong, but there are plenty of options for him at seven.”

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Godolphin trainer Charlie Appleby gives Blue Point green light to attempt Royal Ascot double

Press Association Sport 14:20 21/06/2019
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Tuesday’s King’s Stand hero Blue Point is one of 18 horses declared for the Diamond Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot on Saturday.

Charlie Appleby’s speedball successfully defended his King’s Stand crown with a tremendous performance to see off old foe Battaash on the opening day of the showpiece meeting.

The five-year-old will now bid to become the first horse since Australian raider Choisir in 2003 to win both major sprints in the same week.

Godolphin trainer Appleby told Press Association Sport: “He’s come out of Tuesday’s race well and it was always in the back of our minds that we might do do this, but we didn’t want to say too much after Tuesday’s race because we wanted to see how he came out of it.

“He was obviously entered in both races and he seems to have taken the King’s Stand well. He had some light exercise this morning and looks great and has eaten up – he’s doing all the things you’d want him to do if you’re thinking about running again a few days later.

“After discussing it with His Highness (Sheikh Mohammed), we decided we’d declare him and it still gives us another 48 hours to check everything is fine with the horse.

“We think he deserves to take his chance.”

Blue Point’s task is far from straightforward, with several top-class sprinters lying in wait.

The James Tate-trained Invincible Army has been the star of the six-furlong division so far this season – impressing in the Cammidge Trophy at Doncaster and the Duke of York Stakes.

Last year’s second and third in Stephane Wattel’s City Light and Wesley Ward’s Bound For Nowhere are back for more, while the 2017 winner – James Fanshawe’s The Tin Man – is out to regain his crown.

Like Blue Point, Aidan O’Brien’s Le Brivido and Michael Pitman’s New Zealand challenger Enzo’s Lad are both turning out for the second time in the space of five days, having finished down the field in the Queen Anne and King’s Stand respectively.

Other contenders include Sir Michael Stoute’s Dream Of Dreams and the Richard Fahey-trained Sands Of Mali.

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