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Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 20 February 2019

All eyes on Blue Point as Godolphin ready to raid Dubai World Cup Carnival again

Dubai-based racing operation have strong line up for Week 7 of carnival at Meydan Racecourse

William Buick celebrates after he rides Blue Point to win the King's Stand Stakes on Day 1 of Royal Ascot. Charlie Crowhurst / Getty Images
William Buick celebrates after he rides Blue Point to win the King's Stand Stakes on Day 1 of Royal Ascot. Charlie Crowhurst / Getty Images

Godolphin are targeting two Group 2 prizes on offer at the Dubai World Cup Carnival on Thursday.

Blue Point, trained by Charlie Appleby, spearheads the royal blues challenge in the Meydan Sprint – a 1,000-metre trip on turf – when Week 7 of the carnival gets under way at Meydan Racecourse.

The five-year-old by Shamardal is returning to the track 12 months after losing by a head to course record holder Ertijaal in the same contest. He missed running in the Al Quoz Sprint on Dubai World Cup night due to an injury but quickly recovered to beat Battaash, the world’s top-rated sprinter, in the Group 1 King’s Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot in June.

Thursday's appearance will be his first since finishing third in the Group 1 Nunthorpe Stakes at York in August, and Appleby conceded he was returning after a long break.

“He’s coming back from a bit of a lay-off – having not run since August – but I have been pleased with his preparation,” he told Godolphin.com. “He looks the finished article now.

“Our main aim has always been the Group 1 Al Quoz Sprint on Dubai World Cup night, and therefore there should be some marked improvement on whatever he does this week," he pointed out in reference to the 1,200m race on 30 March."

Appleby said Blue Point should be "the one to beat" given that "he is not coming up against a horse of the calibre of Ertijaal this time".

Saeed bin Suroor has Asoof prepped for Group 2 Balanchine at Meydan Racecourse on Thursday. Getty Images
Saeed bin Suroor has Asoof prepped for Group 2 Balanchine at Meydan Racecourse on Thursday. Getty Images

Meanwhile, Godolphin are double-handed with Poetic Charm – another Appleby-trained horse – and Saeed bin Suroor's Asoof in the Group 2 Balanchine for fillies and mares which is a rematch between the same runners over the 1,800m distance – also a turf race.

Poetic Charm was chased home by Asoof in the Group 2 Cape Verdi run over 1,600m at Meydan on January 17, so Thursday's race should make for interesting viewing.

“We were delighted with Poetic Charm’s victory in the Cape Verdi,” Appleby said. “The step-up to nine furlongs is a slight question mark, but we were very pleased with the way she galloped out last time and she is coming up against the same group of fillies.

“If she stays the trip, she should take all the beating again.”

Bin Suroor added: “Asoof ran well to finish second last time. This is another tough race, but this trip should suit her and she has been going well at home.”

Having racked up four winners last week, Godolphin look good for a repeat in the six races for thoroughbreds.

Bin Suroor’s Silent Attack lines up in the Group 3 Firebreak Stakes in what could be an absorbing contest that also involves Secret Ambition, Kimbear, Munatzah and Heavy Metal.

Godolphin have entered three horses in the Meydan Trophy spearheaded by Art Du Val – another Appleby runner – and include Bin Suroor’s pair Burj and Promise Of Success.

In the two handicaps that sum up the seven-race card, Godolphin have a sole entry Victory Wave in the sixth, and six runners in the concluding race in which Walton Street under William Buick and Mountain Hunter with Christophe Soumillon appear to be their main hopes on the jockey bookings.

The Group 2 Mazrat Al Ruwayah for Purebred Arabians at Meydan kicks off a busy four days of racing across four centres in Dubai on Thursday night, Al Ain, Sharjah and Abu Dhabi.

Updated: February 14, 2019 07:49 AM

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