Trainer Charlie Appleby declared himself content with his G1 Chairman’s Sprint Prize runner Blue Point this morning (Friday, 27 April), two days out from the HK$16 million feature.
Appleby was on hand at Sha Tin for the first time this morning and watched on as Blue Point completed a lap of the all-weather track under regular rider Giuseppe Bussu. Walking back alongside his horse with assistant Sophie Chretien, an animated Appleby could not hide his satisfaction at the four-year-old’s condition.
“I’m delighted with him,” he said. “He shipped in very well, Sophie knows him inside out and the team was pleased with the way he settled into his surroundings. He was on the turf yesterday, Giuseppe said he moved around beautifully, he was pleased to see him switching his leads well. He’s doing all the right stuff, showing us all the right signs.”
Blue Point has only had one start in 2018, finding the line powerfully to just fall short in the G2 Meydan Sprint (1000m) in February. The bay was at the head of the market for the G1 Al Quoz Sprint (1200m) last month, but was withdrawn at the gates when blood was detected in his nostrils.
“Frankly, we’re here now so it wasn’t too serious,” Appleby explained. “If it had been serious, we wouldn’t be standing where we are now. It was an unfortunate situation, he must have given himself a bang somewhere along the line there, but post-race, we haven’t had a setback at all. It was just fortunate on the night that we had a reserve there in Jungle Cat to pick up the pieces. It’s worked out well too because we come here with a fresh horse.
“If Blue Point had run on World Cup night, this would have been a serious question – coming out here and then heading on to Royal Ascot, it would have been a tough test. But the way it has panned out, timing-wise, it suits us. It was a race we purposely made the entry for, not quite knowing what would happen, and with him missing World Cup night, it was a logical step coming here and then going on to Royal Ascot.”