By Andy Stephens
Charlie Appleby has indicated that Blue Point is unlikely to run in the QIPCO British Champions Sprint at Ascot on Saturday and that, next season, he could have a campaign revolving around the top races over five furlongs.
The three-year-old colt, as short as 9-1 for the £600,000 dash on Champions Day, won at Ascot in May and returned to winning ways at the Berkshire track this month having previously finished third in the Commonwealth Cup and fourth in the Sprint Cup at Haydock.
However, Godolphin already have the general 5-4 favourite for the Champions Sprint in the Clive Cox-trained Harry Angel and the prospects of the pair crossing swords for a fourth time this campaign (Harry Angel leads 2-1 in their duels) seem slim, especially as each seem most effective when racing up near the head of the pace.
“It’s still up in the air but with Harry Angel being a Godolphin runner we are represented in the Sprint and, from what we’ve seen, he is going to be hard to beat anyway,” Appleby told Racinguk.com.
“We’ll keep the door open but I think we will probably be more hedging towards going to Dubai with him, let him winter there and look at the Al Quoz.”
Blue Point and Harry Angel are to stay in training next season and as a consequence the former could drop to the minimum trip for the first time in his career. No firms are quoting him in their ante-post betting for the King's Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot.
“It wouldn’t worry me dropping back to five with Blue Point,” Appleby said. “He showed a lot of speed at Ascot on that last start.
“In the sprinting division Godolphin look like they could be strong again next season. If one [Harry Angel] wants to stay at six then I don’t mind dropping back to five.”
An Appleby inmate who will be moving up in trip next year is Ghaiyyath, a striking son of Dubawi who ran out an impressive winner of the Masar Godolphin Autumn Stakes at Newmarket on Saturday.
“Mentally he's going the right way,” Appleby said. “Physically he can't really get any better, he looks fantastic. Going forward, he is a horse His Highness has always had a lot of faith in and he really likes this horse.
"He's in the Racing Post Trophy but I would say that he would potentially go away for the winter now.
"I think staying is going to be his forte, this horse will get a mile-and-a-quarter and a mile-and-a-half next year so he's a very exciting horse. I would like to go the Derby route but we'll see how he gets on over the winter and make a plan in the spring."