Blue Point gains easy Nad Al Sheba Turf Sprint victory
Top sprinter Blue Point warmed up for the G1 Al Quoz Sprint with an easy success in the six-furlong G3 Nad Al Sheba Turf Sprint Sponsored By Arabian Adventures at Meydan, UAE, on Super Saturday, 9 March.
The five-year-old Shamardal horse, winner of the G1 King’s Stand’s Stakes at Royal Ascot last year, was half a stride slow leaving the stalls and raced in mid-field of the 11-strong field under William Buick.
Blue Point started to take closer order at half-way, moving into fourth, and cruised up to challenge with two furlongs to race.
The Godolphin horse soon led, readily opened up a clear advantage and was eased in the closing stages to come home three lengths ahead of Ekhtiyaar in 1.10.15s on good ground.
Charlie Appleby remarked: “That was a very pleasing performance from Blue Point, who will now head to Dubai World Cup night (Saturday, 30 March) for the G1 Al Quoz Sprint.
“I have always had a very soft spot for Blue Point, ever since his two-year-old days, and he is one of the quickest horses I have had the pleasure of training.
“He has improved year on year. He has had defeats, but I think that is good for horses going into championship meetings as they have to know when to dig a bit deeper.
“Blue Point is mentally mature now and looks like a proper sprinter physically. He has two gears – steady or quick – and we felt that it would be a long six weeks between his last victory and the Al Quoz Sprint.
“He came out of his win in the G2 Meydan Sprint (Thursday, 14 February) so well that I thought we would be better off taking this race in, just to keep the lid on him.
“He was just too fresh on Dubai World Cup night last year, when he had a bleed at the gates after a torrid journey in the lorry due to his freshness.”
William Buick added: “Blue Point felt great today and is just a lot more professional now.
“Charlie felt that another run would benefit him and it certainly did. He is a horse that can easily get very fresh and he only runs over very short distances.
“This was a stepping stone to the Al Quoz Sprint and it was lovely that everything went smoothly today. I ended up soon enough in front, but when the turbo kicks in he is like a super car underneath you – he is hard to contain. He is a very, very talented horse and incredibly exciting.
“He is channelling all of his ability and strength in the right direction now, which is great to see, and the team have done a fantastic job.
“Blue Point has always been an exciting horse, so let’s hope he can really fulfil what everyone has always thought of him.
“His confidence has grown and he knows how good he is now – he is very laidback about everything and goes about his job professionally.
“It is now onwards to March 30.”