Godolphin's Blue Point defends King's Stand Stakes


Godolphins Blue Point defends Kings Stand Stakes
Jockey James Doyle (left) after riding Blue Point to victory. Trainer Charlie Appleby (right) is also seen. - AFP

Dubai - The previous three to taste victory twice were Elbio (1991, 1993), Equiano (2008, 2010) and Sole Power (2013 and 2014).

By James Jose

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Published: Tue 18 Jun 2019, 12:00 AM

Last updated: Wed 19 Jun 2019, 12:13 AM

The British weather was at it again but just before it could rain down well and proper in Berkshire, Blue Point rained in another winner, defending the Group 1 King's Stand Stakes on the opening day at Royal Ascot on Tuesday.
Having won this race almost to the day, 12 months ago, for his first Group 1 winner, the Godolphin charge repeated the feat to become the fourth horse in modern history to win this race twice and the second to notch back-to-back triumphs.
The previous three to taste victory twice were Elbio (1991, 1993), Equiano (2008, 2010) and Sole Power (2013 and 2014). The five-year-old son of the blue-blooded Shamardal, became only the 12th horse in the race's 159-year history to win it twice.
It was a rematch between Blue Point, saddled by Charlie Appleby, and Battaash, trained by Charles Hills, with both going toe to toe over the final furlong of the five-furlong contest.
But Blue Point, who landed a hat trick of wins at Meydan earlier this year, including the Group 1 Al Quoz Sprint on Dubai World Cup night, didn't flinch under stand-in jockey James Doyle, for his 10th win in 19 starts.
"Battaash travelled supremely well and at one point I thought we will have to really dig deep today. But once Battaash and him got into a duel, I knew he wasn't going to lie down and he would see it out well," an elated Appleby said.
"He has been very close to his old and in my early years, he has been one of my best three-year-olds. He was always pulling your heart strings when you are watching him.
"His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai; and the team are all here and this is what these days are all about, these Group 1s and having success at Royal Ascot," added the Englishman.
Meanwhile, Doyle, who landed his first Group 1 winner for Appleby in Britain, was over the moon.
"Immense satisfaction that I didn't mess it up because I've ridden him twice before and it didn't really work out. Charlie told me a few weeks before that just pop you on and just to get to know him because he's tricky," said Doyle.
Doyle got the chance after first choice rider William Buick is still recovering from a head injury sustained at the same venue last month.
"It is a real team effort and I'm in a place where something like this does happen, I can pick up the reins. It will be really tough for him (Buick) watching this because I know what it feels like to miss big winners. But I think it softens the blow that one of his best mates is riding the winners and looking after his horses for him, while he is off," added the 31-year-old.

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