Blue Point was a stunning winner at Doncaster for Charlie Appleby
PICTURE: Edward Whitaker (racingpost.com/photos)
GODOLPHIN’s famous blue silks have never been carried to victory in the Qatar Richmond Stakes but it is hard to imagine Sheikh Mohammed’s operation has ever fielded in the race a colt as exciting as Blue Point.
After winning at Nottingham on his debut, the son of Shamardal went to Doncaster with a tall reputation and left with one even taller after posting a stunning 11-length triumph.
It was noted by some observers that Frankel had also won a Doncaster conditions event in similarly striking fashion on his second outing and, while Blue Point is still light years from such a standard, the manner of that latest success marked him down as pretty special.
For that reason Blue Point is a best-priced 14-1 for the Qipco 2,000 Guineas, while he could well be sent off odds-on this afternoon, even though he meets Mehmas and Intelligence Cross, most recently first and second in the July Stakes.
“I’ve never sat on Blue Point but I’ve seen what he can do,” said James Doyle, who stands in for trainer Charlie Appleby’s suspended rider William Buick.
Appleby said: “He’s two from two so far and he was visually impressive when winning at Doncaster, but he’s now stepping up to Group company. Having said that, I’m confident he’s ready to take that step forward.”
Mehmas bidding to continue trend
The last two July Stakes winners, Ivawood and Shalaa, went on to land the Richmond. Mehmas now tries to follow their lead by defying a 3lb penalty having defeated Intelligence Cross by half a length at Newmarket.
“This is obviously going to be more difficult with a penalty but Mehmas is in great nick,” said trainer Richard Hannon.
“He’s always shown us speed and looks a real two-year-old, so we’ll probably keep him busy after this race and look at options in France and Ireland.”
Chance for O’Brien
Aidan O’Brien, trainer of Intelligence Cross, has won the Richmond just once – and that came only through the late disqualification of an ineligible rival – but he has a clear chance here.
O’Brien said: “He was a bit slowly away last time but finished well for second. We haven’t done much with him since. He seems to be in good form and we’re happy with him.”
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