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ROYAL ASCOT: Blue Point foils Battaash in King's Stand thriller
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ROYAL ASCOT: Blue Point foils Battaash in King's Stand thriller
on 19 June 2018
The Charlie Appleby-trained Blue Point caught front-running Battaash, with Mab's Cross running a huge race in third. Lady Aurelia disappointed

BLUE Point wore down Battaash to claim top honours in the Group 1 King's Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot.

The five-furlong sprint was billed as a match between the Charlie Hills-trained Battaash and Wesley Ward's defending champion Lady Aurelia, who was bidding for a third Royal Ascot victory overall.

Battaash, who has played up in the preliminaries previously, was perfectly well behaved on this occasion and flew out of the stalls once the gates opened to take the early lead.

With Lady Aurelia failing to pick up, Battaash briefly looked to have cut loose racing inside the final two furlongs.

However, Charlie Appleby's Blue Point (6/1) managed to reel him in late on and was well on top at the line under William Buick, scoring by a length and three-quarters.

Battaash just held on for second place, narrowly ahead of Mabs Cross in third.

Charlie Appleby, registering his fifth success at the Royal meeting, said: "Full credit has to go to the team at home who have done a fantastic job with Blue Point and getting him back to where he is. I couldn't have been happier with his preparation in the last two weeks and I felt he was back at a level where he could compete after he did a great piece of work the other week.

"To have a Derby winner and then have a winner at Royal Ascot is great and coming into today, I don't think I could have had Blue Point in any better nick. Sheikh Mohammed is a great man and coming into today, there was no pressure on us following Epsom as he just wanted to enjoy the week.

"I think the stiff five furlongs and strong pace has suited him here. I have always thought a lot of this horse and he ran really well in the Commonwealth Cup last year. For whatever reason, he brings his A game here. I was delighted with him at the start of the year in Dubai and whilst things didn't materialise on Dubai World Cup night, we went on to learn a lot in Hong Kong and taught us a few matters. The horse had a torrid time on his way back from Hong Kong, but we gave him a nice break after that and I'm delighted with him."

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