AC Milan arrive in Jeddah ahead of Italian Supercoppa final

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Stars of the Italian football club AC Milan arrived in Jeddah on Sunday morning ahead of their much-anticipated Supercoppa Italiana matchup with Juventus. (SPA)
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Stars of the Italian football club AC Milan arrived in Jeddah on Sunday morning ahead of their much-anticipated Supercoppa Italiana matchup with Juventus. (SPA)
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Stars of the Italian football club AC Milan arrived in Jeddah on Sunday morning ahead of their much-anticipated Supercoppa Italiana matchup with Juventus. (SPA)
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Stars of the Italian football club AC Milan arrived in Jeddah on Sunday morning ahead of their much-anticipated Supercoppa Italiana matchup with Juventus. (SPA)
Updated 14 January 2019
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AC Milan arrive in Jeddah ahead of Italian Supercoppa final

LONDON: Stars of the Italian football club AC Milan arrived in Jeddah on Sunday morning ahead of their much-anticipated Supercoppa Italiana matchup with Juventus Wednesday evening at King Abdullah Sports City Stadium.
A 24-player squad made the trip, led by head coach Gennaro Gattuso, and included Pepe Reina, Ignazio Abate, Ivan Strinic, Tiémoué Bakayoko, Fabio Borini and Gonzalo Higuain.
This year’s Supercoppa will be the 31st edition of the one-match competition contested between the winners of the Serie A and the Coppa Italia from the previous season.
The match is set to be an absorbing contest with both Juventus and Milan holding the joint record for winning the Supercoppa most, with the Italian giants winning it seven times each.
While Juventus are making their seventh successive appearance, the last time these two teams met in the Supercoppa was in 2016, where AC Milan came out on top via a penalty shoot-out.
On Wednesday evening, Saudi Arabia will become the fifth foreign nation to host a Supercoppa Italiana, with the US, China, Libya, and Qatar all playing host previously.


Blue Point focused on Al-Quoz glory after magical run at Meydan

Updated 20 min 55 sec ago
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Blue Point focused on Al-Quoz glory after magical run at Meydan

  • Star sprinter proves class with easy G2 win in Dubai.
  • Charlie Appleby hopeful over Al-Quoz Sprint chances.

LONDON: Star sprinter Blue Point is on course for glory in the much-anticipated Al-Quoz Sprint on Dubai World Cup night. That is the message from Godolphin after a brilliant victory in the G2 Meydan Sprint on Thursday.
The Dubai-based stable have long held high hopes for the Shamardal horse and the five-year-old’s win confirmed that they have something special on their hands.
Blue Point took up the running from Faatinah with more than two furlongs to race and readily opened up daylight over his rivals approaching the final furlong, quickly going clear.
For Charlie Appleby the performance only went to prove that Blue Point has it in him to steal the show on Dubai World Cup night in March.
“If he brought his class, he was going to be good enough to win, but we had left a bit on him because the G1 Al-Quoz Sprint on Dubai World Cup night is our target,” the Godolphin trainer said.
“No disrespect to this race, and we were pleased to win it, but it was the right stepping stone onto the Al-Quoz.
“I was pleased to see him in the paddock, more so than a couple of days ago when it looked like he had a couple of pounds left on him. He had tightened up a bit.
“We were always confident that he was going to come forward for whatever he did. He is a five-year-old now and a professional — getting better with racing. He came alive two furlongs down and it was only a matter of William asking him to pick up and do a bit of work.”
The “Boys in Blue” always place a lot of focus on the World Cup night and a second win in the Al-Quoz sprint — Appleby saddled Jungle Cat to victory last year — is one of the aims for the famous race meeting in March.
“I am very pleased and, all being well, he should step forward for it and all roads will now lead to the Al-Quoz Sprint,” Appleby said.
“I feel that he is not overly exposed as a sprinter — we looked after him as a two-year-old and a three-year-old, while he wasn’t over-raced last year so he is entitled still to be learning.”
Added to the optimism surrounding Blue Point is the fact that William Buick feels he is coming to form at just the right time.
“It was a nice comeback opportunity for Blue Point and he did it very comfortably, doing everything right. It was lovely to see him come back like that,” the jockey said. “He has probably matured a little bit compared to 12 months ago and the biggest difference this year is that he is a G1 winner this time. He had proved himself and feels like a very confident horse — there is no question that he is a top sprinter.”
Meanwhile, Godolphin’s star G1 performers Hartnell, Best Of Days and Alizee have been entered for the world’s richest mile race, the $5 million All-Star Mile to be run at Flemington on March 16.
Head trainer James Cummings confirmed that all three horses will seek a place in the famous race.
“We think it’s great the way in which it really engages with not only the racing audience, but potentially reaching out beyond just that and bringing in a wider audience from not only Australia, but from around the world,” Cummings said. “We’re really excited to be a part of the richest mile race anywhere in the world.”