Blue Point stamped his claim to being the best sprinter on the planet when he stormed to victory in the six-furlong Al Quoz Sprint (G1).
As has been the case so often in recent years, the American sprinters were so close without finding the winner's stall. The Peter Miller-trained duo Belvoir Bay and Stormy Liberal looked likely to give the United States their first victory in the Al Quoz Sprint before being overhauled by the classy winner.
“They were super runs, they both ran their races, I can't complain about it,” said Miller. “All congratulations to Sheikh Mohammed and his team. Blue Point is a super horse and it was no disgrace finishing second and third to him. I'm very pleased we came over. I'm hoping maybe I'll see Blue Point in the Breeders' Cup at Santa Anita. He can come and we've got a score to settle.”
Blue Point stopped the clock in 1.08.39, only narrowly sitting outside the mark set by last year's Al Quoz Sprint winner Jungle Cat when taking the Nad Al Sheba Turf Sprint last March. In doing so, he provided a second success on the card for trainer Charlie Appleby, jockey William Buick and owners Godolphin, coming hot on the heels of Melbourne Cup winner Cross Counter's triumphant return in the Dubai Gold Cup sponsored by Al Tayer Motors (G2).
This was Blue Point's second Group 1 victory, adding to his win in the King's Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot last June, and it hardly looked in doubt as he cantered up towards the leaders. Once Buick shook the reins, it took only a handful of strides before he had the pacesetters in his sights.
“You have got a combination here of William and the horse,” Appleby explained. “They thrive off each other. William knows him inside out. I knew from the body language, as much as you never get confident too soon, but I felt that William had pretty much everything covered there. I'm delighted. I have always been very fond of him, ever since his 2-year-old days and he's doing what we always hoped he would do one day and that is to become a finished article in the top sprinting division.”
Blue Point scored by a length and a quarter over Belvoir Bay, with a further three-quarters of a length back to Stormy Liberal in third. The Australian mare Viddora finished six lengths behind the winner in fourth.
The Al Quoz Sprint win takes Blue Point's record to nine wins from 18 starts, with the son of Shamardal's total earnings now topping US$2.5 million.
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