- Sire-Dam -
The battle to be crowned champion sprinter usually unfolds over the course of a season but this year four days in June have almost certainly already settled the outcome.
Blue Point won the King’s Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot for a second time and then, just four days later, followed up in the Diamond Jubilee Stakes. In the process he became the first horse to complete the big sprint double since Choisir in 2003.
Double delight for @godolphin
The speedy son of Shamardal sees off Battaash in game style to defend his crown! 🔵👑pic.twitter.com/0TRtuoBIeB
— Champions Series (@ChampionsSeries) June 18, 2019
Forty-eight hours later, his connections announced he had run his final race and that stallion duties awaited him.
“We came to the conclusion that he owes us all nothing. He’s given us some wonderful times, with the highlight being last week’s King’s Stand-Diamond Jubilee double,” trainer Charlie Appleby said
“Even from his two-year-old days, winning the Gimcrack and being placed in multiple Group Ones, to winning the King’s Stand last year and then winning three Group Ones this year – he’s been top-class.
“He’s a horse very close to my heart, being there from the start, and it’s not often you get horses who impress you so much in a morning that do the same in the afternoon, but he’s never let us down. He’s been a true champion.
“I’d like to personally thank His Highness Sheikh Mohammed for allowing us to train him in the first place and place him as we have. He has been very much involved in the decisions and the plan for last week.”
The Godolphin colt had only a head to spare in what was to be his final race but that does not diminish his achievement.
And before the Royal Meeting, he had chalked up three wins in Dubai – including the Group 1 Al Quoz Sprint.
“Blue Point had eaten up after the King’s Stand Stakes and we got fluids and everything else into him quite quickly after the race,” an emotional Appleby said after his star had pulled off the double.
“He is a horse who gains weight quickly and the most encouraging part was this morning was when we weighed him on the horsebox and he weighed 536kg which is bang on his weight.
“I just knew he was in good order and if anything I thought he was more relaxed today.
“It’s great for His Highness Sheikh Mohammed and Godolphin. The team at home have done a phenomenal job and I could go on and on thanking an awful lot of people.
“It’s very sporting of Sheikh Mohammed to allow me to run this horse back so quickly, but it is also what racing is all about – letting these horses do what they are good at.
“Words can’t describe what we think about this horse. He showed huge courage today. Full credit has to go to the horse.”
Blue Point’s record stood the closest inspection even before his exploits this year.
He had his first run in a QIPCO British Champions Series contest in the Commonwealth Cup at Royal Ascot in 2017 when playing his part in a superb finish – even if he found Caravaggio and Harry Angel slightly too strong on the day.
In six starts at Ascot, that remains his only defeat at the track.
Before that, he had beaten Harry Angel in course record time at Ascot when in receipt of 4lb from that rival. A third clash against Harry Angel ended with him finishing fourth behind that rival on heavy going in the 32Red Sprint Cup at Haydock.
Blue Point signed off 2017 with a Group 3 win back at Ascot and began this year on his travels – running well in Dubai before failing to make an impact in Hong Kong.
In between he was hot favourite for the Al Quoz Sprint on Dubai World Cup night, only to have to be withdrawn moments before the start after blood was found in his nostrils.
Any fears those exertions might have left a mark were dispelled at Royal Ascot when, dropped to five furlongs, he was a superb winner of the King’s Stand Stakes – pouncing on front-running Battaash near the finish.
Appleby said. “I couldn’t have been happier with his preparation in the last two weeks and I felt he was back at a level where he could compete after he did a great piece of work the other week.
“I think the stiff five furlongs and strong pace has suited him here. I have always thought a lot of this horse and he ran really well in the Commonwealth Cup last year. For whatever reason, he brings his A game here.”
Blue Point started favourite for the Darley July Cup at Newmarket back over six furlongs on his next start but he raced keenly early on and faded to be seventh.
He was swiftly back to form when a close third in the Coolmore Nunthorpe Stakes at York on his next start.
As a two-year-old, he won three of his six races, with the pick of his wins being a dazzling display in the Group 2 Gimcrack Stakes at York.
In defeat, he was second in the Richmond Stakes (beaten a neck by Mehmas), second in the Middle Park Stakes (behind The Last Lion) and third in the Dewhurst Stakes (behind Churchill).
BCS Career statistics
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