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Blue Point doubles up at Royal Ascot with thrilling G1 Diamond Jubilee win


Godolphin’s star sprinter Blue Point became only the second horse in 99 years to complete a famous sprint double at Royal Ascot, UK, with success in the G1 Diamond Jubilee Stakes over six furlongs on Saturday, 22 June.

The five-year-old Shamardal horse, victorious in the G1 King’s Stand Stakes over a furlong shorter on Tuesday, 18 June, broke well and soon raced in third as Kachy set a strong pace at the head of the 17 runners.

Blue Point, trained by Charlie Appleby, cruised up into second entering the final quarter mile and soon hit the front.

James Doyle kicked clear on Blue Point before the Godolphin sprinter was strongly pressed in the closing stages by Dream Of Dreams, holding on by a head in 1m 11.42s on good to firm ground, with a further two and a half lengths back to Kachy back in third.

This was a fifth consecutive win for Blue Point, who started his year with three victories at Meydan, UAE, including when taking the six-furlong G1 Al Quoz Sprint impressively on Dubai World Cup Night, Saturday, 30 March.

His Highness Sheikh Mohammed, Godolphin’s founder and driving force, remarked: “Blue Point is a very good horse.

“After he won on the first day of Royal Ascot, we said we would bring him back today and see. For me, it was an easy decision because he is going to stud. I thought he was marvellous today. Good horses always give you great pleasure.”

Charlie Appleby declared: “We thought about it the week before – Blue Point put in a very good piece of work ahead of the King’s Stand and High Highness came into town a bit early.

‘We were walking around looking at the Royal Ascot runners and I said ‘Sir, if you are happy we will leave him in on the Saturday, let’s just dream we can win the King’s Stand and give ourselves a position to go and have crack at the Diamond Jubilee’.

“Blue Point had eaten up after the King’s Stand Stakes and we got fluids and everything else into him quite quickly after the race.

“He is a horse who gains weight quickly and the most encouraging part was this morning was when we weighed him before he got on the horsebox and he weighed 536kg which is bang on his weight.

“I just knew he was in good order and if anything I thought he was more relaxed today.

“Words can’t describe what we think about this horse. He showed huge courage today. Full credit has to go to the horse.

“I’m in a very fortunate position that I get to train these fantastic horses.”

“Blue Point is going to retire this year – he’s a superstar.

“The lads at home have done a fantastic job, the horse has been with us since a juvenile – he won a Gimcrack, he’s been phenomenal, coming to Ascot he’s really brought his A game and full credit to the team, getting him back to this has been amazing.

“Thanks to His Highness Sheikh Mohammed – I am just the lucky person in this position, he’s made the call for this, as long as we were happy with the horse and all I can do is give him the information on the horse.

“It is so sporting of His Highness to bring this horse back and Masar too – that’s what sport is all about, entertainment and seeing good horses and allowing to seeing horses run at four.

“None of us can do this without the horse - what sets Blue Point apart is what we saw today, he is a class animal.

“We saw him develop from four to five into what we always felt was the real deal. I don’t want to sound like I am trying to be too clever here, but when I saw him win his first start at Meydan in February, I just felt he was the finished article and that this was going to be his year.

“If a good horse such as this doesn’t encourage you or give you get a buzz, you might look at a different sport!

“His Highness is so enthusiastic about his racing. He enjoys his racing, he is a true horseman, but more importantly he is a great supporter of the game. I thought it was very sporting of him to take on this challenge.

“We will let the dust settle, this was always going to be Blue Point’s last year, win lose or draw. We’ll enjoy this moment and let the horse have a rest - he probably needs it for a couple of weeks.”

James Doyle commented: “Wow - that was pretty special. Blue Point gave me an unbelievable feeling.

“I said to Charlie after his last piece of work before the King’s Stand that I thought he was the quickest horse I have ever ridden, and he certainly is that.

It got a little bit hairy late on. The other day I was able to do things by myself without any pressure, but obviously today Kachy went a very strong pace up front and this fellow is so genuine that all he wanted to do was chase him down.

“I was at pains to give Kachy five lengths and tried to give him more, but I could not restrain Blue Point any longer. I have never met a horse as tough as this, he is unbelievable.

“We definitely went quicker today than in the King’s Stand and must have posted some serious fractions.

“Blue Point is a real star and has certainly stamped his stallion credentials now. What he has done is nigh on impossible and only two horses had done it. Today earmarks him as a real champion.

“This is pretty special and full credit to Charlie, all his team and Blue Point – what an amazing athlete he really is to back up like that.

“I got a little bit nervous late on, but Kachy led us along at a break-neck pace and full credit to him to finish third. We were fully relieved that Blue Point kept his head in front.

“I thought he was electric on both days. It was probably a little bit smoother with no anxious moments on Tuesday, but he got a little bit lonely late on today and probably the petrol gauge was running a little bit low.

“He has a mind on him - not many horses want to win as much as he does. It’s a tremendous credit and I am sure it will stand him in great stead when he goes to stud one day.

“His Highness Sheikh Mohammed is a great supporter of racing and he loves Royal Ascot. He has been racing every single day. I am in a very privileged situation to work for such an incredible team and an incredible man with an amazing vision.”