Space Blues rockets home in G2 Lennox Stakes
The Charlie Appleby-trained four-year-old, stepping back up in grade following wins over the same trip in a Haydock Park Listed race and the G3 Prix de la Porte Maillot in June, was held up in ninth of the 11 runners by William Buick.
Space Blues cruised up on the outside of the field passing the two-furlong pole and quickened strongly to take up the running approaching the final furlong. He readily opened up daylight over his rivals in the closing stages to score by two lengths over Duke Of Hazzard.
Charlie Appleby said: “I was delighted with Space Blues, who got a nice clean run. There was plenty of pace on and William was keen to keep it simple with him, which he did. When he came into the straight, I was always confident he was going to pick up. It was a good performance.
“On the back of that, it would be nice to see how fresh we can get him as I feel the G1 Prix Maurice de Gheest (Deauville, Sunday, 9 August) is something to target. He ran well in the race last year. He is a stronger horse this year, he is a great traveller and he has that gear change. It would be nice to give him a crack at a G1 again, but obviously it does come in 12 days’ time.
“Coming back to six furlongs in Dubai was a challenge I gave him off the back of a break and there’s no doubt about it that, since coming back to Europe, he has been a better horse. He is a seven-furlong specialist, it has been proven on paper and I am not going to try and swerve away from that.
“Obviously, you have the G1 Prix de la Foret as another potential race. He is a horse who is in great form. Any athlete, when they are winning, they enjoy it and that is what he is doing at this present time.
“All is going well. The horses are well, William is riding out of his skin and well done to the team back home who are all doing a great job.”
William Buick added: “Space Blues has still to make the grade at G1 level but ran very well to finish third in the Prix Maurice de Gheest last year. He is a horse who is improving and a very professional horse – he is really easy to deal with.
“It’s beautiful ground out there, they are just making a print, which really suits him. I thought it was a really good performance. You would have to say seven furlongs is his optimum because six furlongs out in Meydan didn’t really suit him but I don’t think that was the horse’s fault.”