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Winning streak continues for Space Blues in 1351 Turf Sprint


Space Blues picked up where he left off in 2020 with a straightforward victory in the 1351 Turf Sprint over just shy of seven furlongs at King Abdulaziz Racetrack, Riyadh, on Saturday, 20 February.

The Dubawi entire was posting a fifth consecutive win in the valuable contest on the Saudi Cup undercard, having ended a highly progressive European season with a first G1 success in the Prix Maurice de Gheest.

After breaking smartly from stall two, Space Blues soon tracked the leaders in fifth on the inside. He was switched out by William Buick approaching the straight and travelled into the race powerfully to go third a furlong and a half out.

Space Blues was asked to win his race soon after and the five-year-old reeled in Urban Icon and Dark Power entering the final half-furlong before being pushed out to score by three-quarters of a length.

His trainer Charlie Appleby said: “Space Blues was the class horse coming into the race and it looked like they were going sensible fractions. From that draw, William gave him time to find his feet and, like the class horse he is, he came on to the bridle turning in. From there, I felt it was only a matter of William having to ask the question and Space Blues picked up well.

“I think we will take the G1 Al Quoz Sprint on Dubai World Cup into strong consideration. He has the Maurice de Gheest and his usual races over the summer to look forward to in Europe afterwards.

“I am delighted for Sheikh Mohammed and team Godolphin to have a winner at this meeting. We ran some great races here last year but didn’t manage to get one. We have managed to put a winner on the board, which is great.”

William Buick said: “Space Blues really is a class act. He was the best horse in the race, we all knew that, but we were coming to a country he has never been to before. He has never raced on a track as tight as this as well, although he does have a lot of tactical speed. I thought he did extremely well. He hadn’t run for a while, so was a little bit rusty, but I thought it was a really good performance.

“He broke well and travelled good. I followed Frankie Dettori on Dark Power and I knew that he would take me to where I needed to be. I got a nice gap in the straight and this horse has a lot of gears. He is very quick and you saw how well he travelled into the straight. He is very special, a top-class sprinter.”