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Global weekly review: pointing positively to the future

Few days at York's Ebor Meeting have been as satisfying for Godolphin as that of last Saturday when the exciting colt Blue Point set out his stall for the rest of the season with a brilliant win in the G2 Gimcrack Stakes and Scottish confirmed his ticket to Melbourne by taking the G3 Strensall Stakes.
J A McGrath

Yes, over the years, there have been numerically better days for His Highness Sheikh Mohammed's global stable, and there have also been winners of higher graded races. But the satisfaction in this notable double is that it is all about the future -- in Britain and Australia.

Trainer Charlie Appleby was particularly pleased because Blue Point was able to produce on the racecourse what he had been doing regularly on the gallops at Moulton Paddocks, Newmarket (UK).

"I was delighted with his performance," Appleby said. "We have seen what he can do at home, so it was great that he could do it in a race. He was able to put his defeat at Goodwood behind him, and now we look ahead to the G1 Middle Park Stakes (Newmarket, September 24)," the trainer said.

"He is a two-year-old with an abundance of natural speed. Lack of experience beat him previously. The Gimcrack run was brilliant -- he took it up when William (Buick) saw that the leaders weren't able to go quick enough for him.

"I have spoken to His Highness Sheikh Mohammed and John Ferguson, and the plan is now to go straight to the Middle Park, over six furlongs, though stepping up in trip later is not out of the question, either," he said. "He will have learnt a lot more from Saturday's race," the trainer added.

As for Scottish, the Racing Victoria Handicapper, Greg Carpenter, will have a big say in plans. On the table at present is a blue print for Scottish to first tackle the G1 Caulfield Cup, then the G1 Melbourne Cup. Both are handicaps -- and tight ones at that -- often with the weight range from top to bottom being only 5kg (11lb).

Scottish won the Strensall Stakes quite convincingly, and his ability to quicken should stand him in good stead in his trip Down Under. His recent runs have been excellent, with Appleby commenting: "I was very pleased with Saturday's performance.

"He's got a gear change. He won well at Newbury, but he was slightly intimidated when beaten at Haydock. We'll see the handicaps, but the intention is to go to Melbourne, all being well," he added.

Globally, champions in both America and Australia were grabbing headlines at the weekend.

California Chrome crushed his rivals -- they included Beholder and Dortmund -- in the G1 Pacific Classic at Del Mar, while Winx, a daughter of Street Cry, made it 10 wins on the trot when making a brilliant return to the track, effortlessly winning the G2 Warwick Stakes at Randwick, Sydney.