G1SW Blue Point Leads Meydan Thursday Action

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Blue Point | Racing Post

Thursday marks the return of Godolphin’s 2018 G1 Kings Stand S. victor Blue Point (Ire) (Shamardal) in the $250,000 G2 Meydan Sprint at Meydan. Second in this 1000-metre contest last year, the ‘TDN Rising Star’ was a gate scratch out of the G1 Al Quoz Sprint on Dubai World Cup night, and was a third most recently in the Aug. 24 G1 Nunthorpe S. at York.

“He has been training well,” Appleby said. “His preparation for the race has gone well. He should come forward off the race like he did last year, though. He is eight pounds clear of the others in the field, is a Group 1 winner and likely the horse to beat.”

Sheikh Hamdan’s MGSW and G1 Oakleigh Plate runner-up Faatinah (Aus) (Nicconi {Aus}) won a Jan. 3 handicap over this course and distance, and was third last out in a similar Jan. 24 affair.

The third race on the Meydan card is the 1600-metre $200,000 G3 Firebreak S., and the Doug Watson-trained duo of 2018 G3 Burj Nahar victor Kimbear (Temple City) and SW Muntazah (GB) (Dubawi {Ire}) leave from stalls five and seven, respectively. The former ran third in the Dec. 6 Listed Garhoud Sprint, and went one better in the wake of North America (GB) (Dubawi {Ire}) in the Jan. 10 Al Maktoum Challenge R1 with Muntazah third.

“He ran a great race last time and North America is obviously an exceptional horse, but we thought that even though he was second, we were expecting a bigger run,” Watson explained of Kimbear. “The next day, we found a quarter crack and he had overreached badly. Since then, though, we’ve had a nice clean run with him and obviously we think a lot of him.”

2018 winner, MGSW Heavy Metal (GB) (Exceed And Excel {Aus}) returns to defend his title and leaves from gate one. Successful in the G2 Godolphin Mile on Dubai World Cup Night, last March, he ran ninth in the Al Maktoum Challenge R1. The rapidly improving Jan. 25 G3 Jebel Ali Mile hero Secret Ambition (GB) (Exceed And Excel {Aus}) also lines up.

Rounding out the three group races carded for Thursday is the G2 Balanchine over a grassy 1800 metres. Godolphin’s Poetic Charm (GB) (Dubawi {Ire}) was four lengths clear of fellow royal blue colourbearer Asoof (GB) (Dubawi {Ire}) when dominating the G2 Cape Verdi over 200 metres shorter.

“She’s been doing well,” Appleby said of the half-sister to Teofilo (Ire) (Galileo {Ire}). “She hasn’t done much work since her win and has been taking it easy. We believed the mile to be her optimal trip, but she galloped out well in the Cape Verdi. Nine to 10 furlongs is unknown territory, so we will try and see what happens.”

Cape Verdi third and Chilean champion Furia Cruzada (Chi) (Newfoundland) is looking to return to the winner’s circle and saluted going this trip over the main track in the 2017 G2 Al Maktoum Challenge R2.

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