Blue Point heads stellar Godolphin supporting cast on Super Saturday
Blue Point is out to produce another scintillating display at Meydan, UAE, as he warms up for Dubai World Cup night in the G3 Nad Al Sheba Turf Sprint Sponsored By Arabian Adventures, on Super Saturday, 9 March.
The Charlie Appleby-trained Shamardal horse, with regular jockey William Buick up, steps back up to six furlongs, having powered to an overwhelming five-length victory on his seasonal return in the G2 Meydan Sprint over five furlongs at the same course on Thursday, 14 February. He is drawn nine of the 11 runners.
Five-year-old Blue Point was among Europe’s top sprinters last year and gained a breakthrough first G1 success when beating a top-class field in the G1 King’s Stand Stakes over five furlongs at Royal Ascot in June.
Charlie Appleby said: “We were obviously delighted with Blue Point’s seasonal reappearance in the Meydan Sprint and he came out of the race very well.
“The initial plan was to head straight to Dubai World Cup Night (Saturday, March 30) for the G1 Al Quoz Sprint (6f), but he had the one prep run last year and I wondered whether he was a bit too fresh on the big night.
“He has been training well and looks to be a happy horse at the moment, so we thought that we would take this race in ahead of the Al Quoz Sprint.
“The step up to six furlongs is well within his compass and he looks to be the one to beat.”
Godolphin has four contenders in the 12-furlong G2 Dubai City Of Gold Sponsored By Emirates SkyCargo, a leading trial for the G1 Dubai Sheema Classic on Dubai World Cup night.
Old Persian (Charlie Appleby William Buick) took the G2 King Edward VII Stakes over a mile and a half at Royal Ascot in June, 2018 and the four-year-old Dubawi colt drops back in trip for his first Dubai start after fading to fifth in the final British Classic, the G1 St Leger, over two and a half furlongs further at Doncaster, UK, in September.
He is joined by three runners who have already performed well at this year’s Carnival including Spotify (Charlie Appleby/James Doyle), who made it two wins from two starts when making virtually all in the 10-furlong G3 Dubai Millennium Stakes on Thursday, 21 February.
Seven-year-old Pivotal horse Racing History (Saeed bin Suroor/Christophe Soumillon) just failed by a short head to beat Spotify in the Dubai Millennium Stakes, while Team Talk (Saeed bin Suroor/Pat Cosgrave), by Teofilo, also re-opposes after coming home a close fourth in the same race.
Charlie Appleby explained: “Old Persian hasn’t run since failing to see the trip out in the St Leger, but he brings some great form to the table, having won at Royal Ascot and the G2 Great Voltigeur Stakes at York last season.
“He has done well out on Dubai, although we expect there to be some improvement on whatever he does this week, with one eye on hopefully running him in the Dubai Sheema Classic at the end of the month.
“Spotify has progressed throughout the Carnival and we felt that he is a very straightforward horse who deserved a crack at this race.
“He is stepping back up in distance, having won over a mile and a half on his first start of the year, but hopefully he can get into another nice rhythm and see the trip out well again.”
Saeed bin Suroor said: “Racing History has been running well throughout the Carnival and was a close second on his latest appearance in the Dubai Millennium Stakes. He has been going well at home and has run well over this trip in the past.
“Team Talk is a horse who always tries in his races and we wanted to give a chance over this distance to see how he gets on. He should be fine with a mile and a half and I have been pleased with his preparation.”
Six-year-old Comicas (Charlie Appleby/William Buick, drawn three of the 10 runners) returns to his favoured surface and distance in the G3 Mahab Al Shimaal Sponsored By Emirates Skywards over six furlongs on dirt following two below-par efforts on turf in Australia. The sprinter was runner-up in the six-furlong G1 Dubai Golden Shaheen on Dubai World Cup night in 2017 and quickened well to take the G3 Dubawi Stakes over the same course and distance at the Dubai World Cup Carnival last year.
Charlie Appleby remarked: “Comicas has good course and distance experience and has enjoyed a nice break since running out in Australia.
“His homework has been excellent and we felt that he deserved a crack at a nice race over his favoured trip at a course he loves.”
Three-year-olds Estihdaaf (Saeed bin Suroor/Pat Cosgrave, drawn 13) and Divine Image (Charlie Appleby/Brett Doyle, drawn three), who have both enjoyed Classic success at this year’s Carnival, clash in the 14-runner Listed Al Bastakiya Sponsored By emirates.com over nine and a half furlongs on dirt.
Estihdaaf gained a comprehensive victory in the mile G3 UAE 2000 Guineas on Thursday, 7 February, while Divine Image got up near the line to beat Swift Rose by a neck in the G3 UAE Oaks over the same distance as the Al Bastakiya two weeks later.
Saeed bin Suroor commented: “Estihdaaf won very nicely in the UAE Guineas and this will be his prep run ahead of the G2 UAE Derby on Dubai World Cup night. He is in good form and should be fine with the step up in distance.”
Charlie Appleby added: “We were pleased with Divine Image in the UAE Oaks, when she enjoyed the step up to this trip. She gets a nice weight allowance, a nice draw in stall three, and - if she performs well here - it will hopefully confirm her place in the UAE Derby.”