Space Blues proves superiority in Foret

William Buick riding Space Blues to win The Sky Bet City Of York Stakes
Image: Space Blues

Space Blues ran out an impressive winner of the Qatar Prix de la Foret at ParisLongchamp.

The Charlie Appleby-trained entire had been unable to take his chance in the only Group One contest over seven furlongs in Europe for the last two years but made no mistake on his belated appearance.

Having won a very valuable race in Saudi Arabia in February and the Group Two City Of York Stakes, from his four previous starts in 2021, the five-year-old was sent off a well-backed 11-4 favourite - and did not let his supporters down.

Held up in the early stages, Space Blues was third last turning for home. But William Buick oozed confidence as he moved the Godolphin runner to the outside to make his challenge.

Sweeping into the lead in the final furlong, Space Blues was a convincing winner from Pearls Galore and third-placed Entscheiden - giving connections compensation after the honourable defeats of Hurricane Lane and Adayar in the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe.

Appleby was confident Space Blues was in top form for his big target, and indicated afterwards he may consider a minor move up in trip next month for the Breeders' Cup Mile.

"I was delighted the way he'd worked in the last week, after I bubble-wrapped him after the York race," said the Newmarket trainer.

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"His final gallop was the best I've ever seen him work, and I thought he was a worthy favourite.

"The team did a great job with him. I knew on Wednesday he was in the form of his life.

"William was able to get his lungs filled up and you could see how well they were travelling.

"Although the ground will be totally different (quicker) at Del Mar, I might suggest we take him there. He's a class horse and showed us that the way he quickened up today."

Buick added: "He's a machine. He's one of my favourite horses. He's generous, easy to ride and has a lot of class.

"With him, you just have to sit back and wait for him to deliver his finishing kick. The Breeders' Cup Mile is a two-turn race and he's adaptable enough to do well there."

Reflecting on the performances of Hurricane Lane and Adayar in the Arc, Appleby had praise for both after they finished third and fourth respectively behind shock winner Torquator Tasso.

"I was delighted with my pair in the Arc," he said.

"We came in full of confidence - but the conditions were what they were.

"They didn't go very quick, and I knew Adayar's acceleration wasn't going to be there on that ground.

"James (Doyle) said he got shuffled back a bit on Hurricane Lane, but he ran right to the line. They are both exciting horses to have around next year."

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