Blue Point retired to stud after pulling off remarkable Royal Ascot double
Charlie Appleby has paid tribute to brilliant sprinter Blue Point, who he says has been retired "at the pinnacle of his career" and with nothing left to prove.
The five-year-old, who will stand at Sheikh Mohammed's Dalham Hall Stud in Newmarket next year, was the equine star of Royal Ascot when he completed a Group 1 sprint double that had only previously been achieved by the great Australian sprinter Choisir since the Diamond Jubilee Stakes was granted Group 1 status in 2002.
Appleby said on Monday: "After a fantastic Royal Ascot bookended by wins in the Group 1 King's Stand and the Group 1 Diamond Jubilee and subsequent discussions with his highness Sheikh Mohammed, we feel it's the right time to retire Blue Point.
"To do what he did within five days was the pinnacle of his career and he couldn't have done any more. He retires fit and well to Dalham Hall, where he will try and emulate his father Shamardal. He's five now and thrives at Ascot, so we don't think he has anything else to prove."
Blue Point claimed back-to-back wins in the King's Stand Stakes when beating Battaash for a second time last Tuesday, before gamely fending off the highly progressive Dream Of Dreams after travelling strongly into contention in the Diamond Jubilee just four days later.
The Royal Ascot double, achieved under James Doyle while regular rider William Buick recovers from a head injury, took his career record to 11 wins from 20 starts, four of them at the highest level, for earnings of £2,631,333.
Ascot suited Blue Point's style of running especially well and he enjoyed five wins there, the first of them coming at the expense of that year's champion sprinter Harry Angel in the 2017 Pavilion Stakes. He played a key role in a vintage season for sprinters, and his subsequent third behind Caravaggio and Harry Angel in the Commonwealth Cup – his only defeat at the track – came in an epic renewal.
He was also beaten only once at Meydan, where his comfortable Al Quoz Sprint defeat of crack American sprinters Belvoir Bay and Stormy Liberal, the latter a dual winner of the Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint, on Dubai World Cup night in March earned him almost £950,000.
Blue Point retires as the dominant force of the sprinting division, unbeaten in five races this year.
Appleby also provided news of the likely next engagement for Masar, who was beaten just under five lengths into fifth behind Defoe in Saturday's Hardwicke Stakes on his first run since last year's Investec Derby win, despite nearly coming down at the start.
The trainer, who also confirmed Goodwood's Group 2 Vintage Stakes as the next target for Chesham Stakes winner Pinatubo, said: "Masar has pulled out fit and well this morning after his comeback in the Hardwicke, where he was entitled to get a little tired in the closing stages.
"All being well, he will head for the Group 2 Princess of Wales's Stakes at Newmarket's July meeting, where we know he handles the undulations as he has worked there a couple of times."
Buick, who partnered Masar to last year's Epsom defeat of Dee Ex Bee, Roaring Lion and Saxon Warrior, was watching from the stands on Saturday and was happy enough with what he saw.
He said: "I thought he ran well. He'd been a long time off the track and he was in against race-fit rivals, and James did well to stay on board when he stumbled badly at the start.
"It was nice to get him back on the track and I thought it was a run that gave Charlie and the team plenty to build on. I know they are very happy with him."
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