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Royal Ascot moments: Blue Point at the double

Blue Point had a tremendous Ascot record in his career and the Charlie Appleby-trained speedster signed off in fairytale fashion with a Royal double in the summer of 2019.

Winner of 11 starts from his 20-race career, Blue Point counted four top-level successes in that haul and he added two of those at Royal Ascot in the space of five days to sign off his career.

Royal Ascot 2023 is looming large on the horizon and we are taking a look back at some famous contests that have unfolded on the famous stretch of Berkshire turf.

Watch every race from Royal Ascot 2023 via the bet365 live Sports Streaming Service as the pinnacle meeting of the Flat season and a true British sporting institution takes place from Tuesday 20th June – Saturday 24th June.

WhatRoyal Ascot
WhereAscot Racecourse, Berkshire
WhenTuesday 20th June - Saturday 24th June 2023
How to watchbet365 Sports Live Streaming, ITV Racing & Sky Sports Racing

Ascot form set Blue Point apart

Blue Point's juvenile season in 2016 saw him winning three of his opening four races. Those wins came at Nottingham and Doncaster before a close second behind Mehmas in the Richmond Stakes at Glorious Goodwood and then a Group 2 breakthrough in York's Gimcrack.

The autumn sent him to Newmarket twice for top-level dates – he was second behind The Last Lion in the Middle Park Stakes and then third as the following season's 2000 Guineas winner Churchill outstayed him in the Dewhurst.

Connections couldn't have known it then, but Headquarters was never his track – he was turned over as favourite in the 2018 July Cup on his only other Newmarket appearance.

For Blue Point, the 'home games' were at Ascot, a track where he won five times in six visits, his only defeat coming when third behind Caravaggio in the 2017 Commonwealth Cup.

In his final racing season, Blue Point would carve his name into Royal Ascot folklore.

Ascot King's last stand

Blue Point was a Group 1 winner at the Royal Meeting in 2018 when he saw off fellow speedball Battaash by the best part of two-lengths to win the King's Stand Stakes over the flying five-furlongs.

A year later and with confirmation from Sheikh Mohammed and Godolphin that 2019 would be his final year racing before going to stud, retaining that King's Stand mantle was the primary concern.

A busy spring saw him beautifully prepared for his English summer with three wins in Dubai, culminating in the Al Quoz Sprint on World Cup Night at Meydan in late March.

From there to Ascot and the King's Stand defence, once more with Charlie Hills' multiple Group 1-winning sprinter his biggest danger.

Little split them in the betting, Battaash narrowly favoured, but Blue Point grabbed the advantage with a furlong to run as the big two settled down to fight it out and James Doyle's partner never looked likely to relinquish his lead as he won a second King's Stand.

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Rolling the dice for Diamond Jubilee farewell

Just one horse – the Australian superstar Choisir – had ever managed to complete a King's Stand / Diamond Jubilee double at Royal Ascot prior to 2019.

He'd come halfway around the world in 2003 ensuring connections had every desire to have a go on the final day of the meeting and they were duly rewarded.

Blue Point, of course, was stabled just two hours up the road at Newmarket, but his trainer was alert to the possibility that two races at Ascot, rather than a possible July Cup at Newmarket where he'd never excelled, might be the ticket for this sprinting sensation's farewell.

"I thought about doing both races after he did a great piece of work the week before the King's Stand," said Appleby at the time.

"His Highness (Sheikh Mohammed) came into town a bit early and was looking round at the Ascot runners, and I said if he was happy I'd leave Blue Point in on the Saturday and let's just dream we can win the King's Stand and give ourselves the opportunity of potentially having a crack at the Diamond Jubilee."

Have a crack they certainly did. Blue Point went off 6/4 favourite for the Diamond Jubilee over six-furlongs and looked set to be an imperious winner with a furlong to run, only for Dream Of Dreams to close him down – but the gutsy Godolphin inmate held on by a head to complete his Royal Ascot double.

That was to be his final appearance on the track and what better way to sign off.

"I got a bit too excited too soon," Appleby said post-race. "I thought he'd put it to bed. That should teach me. I've been in the game long enough to know, don't count your chickens until they've crossed over the line."

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