BLUE Point saw off old foe Battaash to successfully defend his crown in the King’s Stand Stakes.
Charlie Appleby’s Blue Point mowed down the free-going Battaash to emerge victorious last season, but 12 months on the boot was on the other foot – with Battaash restrained by Jim Crowley in the hope of coming with a late run.
Fresh from winning three times in Dubai earlier in the year, 5-2 chance Blue Point was the first of the big two to commit for home under James Doyle and while 2-1 favourite Battaash came at him late, Appleby’s charge was a length and a quarter to the good at the line.
It was almost the same one-two-three as last year, but Mabs Cross was this time narrowly denied third by Soldier’s Call.
Doyle – standing in for the sidelined William Buick – said: “It gives me immense satisfaction that I didn’t mess it up! I’ve ridden him twice before and it didn’t really work out.
“I’ve done plenty of homework and a few weeks ago Charlie said, ‘let’s just pop you on him, as he is tricky’. That’s why Charlie is the great trainer that he is – he thinks about all these little things.”
A clearly emotional Appleby said: “He’s one of the old warriors in the yard now and everyone at home has done a fantastic job with this horse. – Sky Sports.