Horse racing - Charlie Appleby

Rivals Get The Blues as Godolphin Strike in King’s Stand

3 months ago

All the talk was of Battaash and Lady Aurelia and who would come out on top in the Group 1 King’s Stand Stakes, but on an opening day at Royal Ascot that produced a number of big surprises Blue Point stunned his rivals by landing the spoils.

Well supported on course from 8/1 to 6/1, the Godolphin colt was given a terrific ride by William Buick who let the big two take each other on ahead of him. Battaash (9/4) showed tremendous speed to lead under Jim Crowley and had taken the measure of the 2/1 favourite and defending champion Lady Aurelia before the furlong pole. But having bounded into a length-and-a-half lead, Blue Point came out of the pack to gradually wear down Charlie Hills’ speedster, getting up in the last 75 yards before staying on strongly to score by a length-and-three-quarters. Michael Dods’ very progressive Mabs Cross (20/1) ran on to take third.

It was a third win from four visits to Ascot for the son of Shamardal whose only defeat at the Berkshire track came in last term’s Group 1 Commonwealth Cup where he finished a fine third behind star pair Harry Angel and Caravaggio. He  could next go for the six furlong Group 1 July Cup at Newmarket next month for which his odds have been slashed from 16/1 to a top priced 7/1 with Betfair. Harry Angel is the clear 4/1 ante-post favourite with William Hill.

“He brings his A game’ here,” said Appleby, trained of Derby winner Masar. “The stiff track suits him. I’ve always thought a lot of this horse since his two-year-old career. Plenty of pace suits him too. William gave him a copybook ride. He got a lovely lead into him and picked up well.”

“He’s a very quick horse and I was always very comfortable where I was, and I knew he would see the race out better than Battaash,” added Buick.

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Paul Alster Betting.net

Written by Paul Alster

Paul Alster has been part of the British and international racing media for more than three decades working as a race commentator, TV/radio presenter, journalist, betting correspondent, SP returner, and form analyst. He’s always sought out overpriced runners in handicap races, a quest that excites him as much now as it did at the start of his career.