Jungle Cat
Image reproduced with the kind permission of Newmarket Racecourse

Jungle Cat ran out the winner of the Group One Al Quoz Sprint from Meydan, as stablemate Blue Point was a sensational late scratching.

Thirteen lined-up for this six furlong sprint, following the dramatic late defection of Blue Point, who was found with blood in his nostrils, at the starting gates, on the advice of the vets.

As the race got underway, it was Faatinah who was away best on the inside, but settling down, Conquest Tsunami just about held the lead.

Conquest Tsunami continued to lead at the two furlong pole from Illustrious Lad and Hit The Bid.

Inside the final furlong, Jungle Cat began to get into top gear and hit the front, with Stormy Liberal challenging to the inside.

But Charlie Appleby, trainer of Blue Point, was not to be denied as Jungle Cat, a son of Iffraaj – and James Doyle, took the spoils from Stormy Liberal, with Conquest Tsunami third and then Washington DC.

Doyle was congratulated by Blue Point’s rider William Buick out on the track.

Doyle said: “Myself and Will have been good friends since he came over to England. I was gutted for him when I got to the start and saw he was pulled out. I know how much he was looking forward to riding him.

“I’m delighted with this fella (Jungle Cat). What a star he is. He’s been unbelievable this year and you can just set your watch by him.

“He’s such a dream to ride out in the mornings. He really is brilliant.”

He went on: “He jumped well and settled in the mid-pack with horses around him and I gave myself the option to move out to the right.

“It was fantastic the way the race panned out, because he stays seven. But when he got to the front and won his race, he shut down in the last few strides.”

Appleby was struggling to contain his emotions after claiming his first ever World Cup night victory.

He said: “I’m delighted. I don’t know what’s happened to Blue Point, but I knew Jungle Cat was in the form of his life.

“The team have done a fantastic job. Jungle Cat deserves to win a race like this. I fancied him last year and then the rain came and that was his chance gone.

“I don’t think I’d ever had him in such good shape. When he won here before he broke well and he did it again, which was key.

“He’s a Group One winner now and I’m very proud of him.”

He added: “The Carnival has gone so well and I’m just very relieved to put one on the board for myself on World Cup night.

“I’m delighted for Godolphin and His Highness Sheikh Mohammed.”