Shamardal's Blue Point is the Real Deal

Mark Smith - Sunday March 31

No luck for the Aussies Viddora, Brave Smash (JPN) and Illustrious Lad in the Al Quoz Sprint at Meydan on Saturday night but the winner Blue Point is top-class and wouldn't be out of place in The Everest.

The son of Shamardal won the Group 1 King Stand Stakes at Ascot last year.

Viddora did best of the Aussies finishing fourth and jockey Joe Bowditch was proud of the daughter of I Am Invincible.

"I was tracking the winner Blue Point and at halfway I asked my mare to go with him," Bowditch said.

"She couldn't quite do that, but she batted on well for fourth. She has run with credit having travelled so far from Australia. Blue Point must be very good to clock a time like that on a track that to me didn't appear super fast."

Grant Courtney was trackside to capture the action.

Blue Point stamped his claim to being the best sprinter on the planet when he stormed to victory in the 1200m Al Quoz Sprint sponsored by Azizi Developments (G1).

The son of former Darley shuttler Shamardal 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 1000m King's Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot last June, and it hardly looked in doubt as he cantered up towards the leaders at the 300m. Once Buick shook the reins, it took only a handful of strides before he had the pacesetters in his sights.

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 at the 300m to give the United States their first victory in the Al Quoz Sprint before being overhauled by the classy winner.

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 total earnings topping US$2.5 million.

Charlie Appleby , Trainer, BLUE POINT (1st)—"You have got a combination here of William and the horse. 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."

Asked about Royal Ascot: "Hopefully, we all know it's a tough game but if he turns up fit and well, he is going to be there to try and defend his crown in the King's Stand Stakes. I spoke to His Highness and we said that as long as he ran well here that would be the plan."

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