Dubai: Godolphin’s Blue Point came in for the highest praise after becoming only the third horse in racing history to complete the Group 1 sprint double at Royal Ascot when he stormed home a popular winner of the Diamond Jubilee Stakes on the final day of this year’s five-day Royal extravaganza.
His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, led the plaudits to the son of Shamardaal, describing the Charlie Appleby-trained speedball as ‘the apple of his eye.’
Blue Point’s stunning victory in the Diamond Jubilee Stakes under James Doyle came just four days after he won the King’s Stand Stakes to also become only the eighth runner since the Second World War to complete a double at Royal Ascot.
3victories secured in three races by Pinatubo, the son of Shamardal
The five-year-old, who is likely to head to stud, stamped his stallion credentials when he emulated Australian sprinter Choisir’s remarkable feat of 2003.
Both Blue Point and Doyle had to dig deep into their reserves to hold off the Sir Michael Stoute-trained Dream Of Dreams for a close victory. Early leader Kachy took third.
“He’s a very good horse,” Shaikh Mohammad told ITV Racing. “After he won the King’s Stand Stakes on Tuesday, it was a very easy decision to bring him back again for this race: We wanted to see him another time at Ascot before he goes to stud at the end of the season.
“I think it was marvellous. Good horses always give you great pleasure.”
Doyle, who was on board in Tuesday’s race, described Blue Point as one of the toughest and fastest horses that he has ever ridden.
“That was very special, this fella is so genuine,” said the jockey retained by Godolphin. “He gave me a great feel after his last piece of work before the King’s stand and I said then the was one of the quickest horses I’ve ever ridden.
“It was a bit hairy at the finish when Dream Of Dream came upsides, but Blue Point was not likely to surrender. I’ve never met a horse as though as this.
“He’s stamped his stallion credentials with what he has done over the week at Ascot.”
Doyle and trainer Charlie Appleby ended the Royal meeting on a high — having earlier won the Chesham Stakes for juveniles with the very exciting Pinatubo, a colt named after a mountain in the Philippines, who also smashed the two-year-old track record in the process.
Now three from three, the son of Shamardal scored from favourite Lope Y Fernandez, the mount of Ryan Moore. Highland Chief, who was sent off 14-1, finished third for trainer Paul Cole.
The Roger Varian-trained Defoe made it a red-letter day for Dubai-owned horses when he won the incident-filled Group 2 Hardwicke Stakes under Andrea Atzeni.
Nagano Gold, trained by Czech trainer Vaclav Luka Jr, finished second despite being severely impeded at a scrappy start after Godolphin’s Derby winner Masar stumbled when the stalls opened and almost unseated his rider Doyle.
Atzeni said of the winner, who is owned by Shaikh Mohammad Obaid Al Maktoum: “I was in front a long way out and probably got there sooner than I’d like — which wasn’t ideal. He’s very straightforward and you need good horses like Defoe on weeks like this.”