Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 19 July 2019

Royal Ascot: Blue Point to run in Diamond Jubilee as Godolphin aiming for rare Group 1 double

After winning King's Stand Stakes on Tuesday, Dubai racing operation confirm five-year-old's name for Saturday's race

James Doyle rides Blue Point to victory in the King's Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot on Tuesday. Alan Crowhurst / Getty Images
James Doyle rides Blue Point to victory in the King's Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot on Tuesday. Alan Crowhurst / Getty Images

Blue Point will return to Royal Ascot action on Saturday in a rare bid to win two Group 1 prizes in the space of five days at the same festival meeting.

Godolphin have confirmed the five-year-old speed thunderbolt will line up in the Diamond Jubilee just days after finishing first in the King’s Stand Stakes when the festival got under way on Tuesday. Blue Point is among 18 horses declared for the six-furlong sprint - the highlight on the final day of the royal meeting.

“Immediately after the race [on Tuesday], everybody posed the question of what you're going to do," Godolphin trainer Charlie Appleby was quoted as saying by Racingpost.com. "But when you're dealing with livestock, you won't know until the following morning what condition they're in, so we didn't put it out there.

“We were pleased with the way the horse has taken the race. We spoke about it at length yesterday and added the pros and cons. Blue Point seems to turn his A-game on at Ascot; he's held the track record over six furlongs there, and he seems to be in the form of his life.

“He's only got two more opportunities to run at Ascot this season before he retires at the end of the year, and it was either this or wait for Champions Day when he could be taking on testing conditions," Appleby said in reference to the British Champions Day, to be held on October 19 at Ascot.

"His Highness Sheikh Mohammed [bin Rashid, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai] is very sporting, and he felt the horse deserved to take his chance,” he added.

Appleby hopes judging by the way the forecast is, "it's going to be drying out nicely [at Ascot] towards Saturday".

Blue Point has won 10 of his 19 career starts. He is undefeated in his last four starts, of which three were at Meydan Racecourse - including the Group 1 Al Quoz Sprint on Dubai World Cup Night in March.

Another notable name to appear on the day is Masar, Godolphin’s Derby winner last year. The four-year-old will make his first appearance in the Group 2 Hardwicke Stakes since his Epsom Derby triumph, and will take on eight rivals on his seasonal return.

Meanwhile on Friday, Godolphin’s Castle Lady will take her chances in the Group 1 Coronation Stakes.

She will face her biggest test when taking on the best three-year-old fillies in Europe, including the Aidan O’Brien-trained Hermosa, the dual English and Irish 1000 Guineas winner.

Trained in France by Henri-Alex Pantall, Castle Lady is undefeated in three starts, which include the French 1000 Guineas in her previous start on May 12. Mickael Barzalona, who was on board in her last two starts, retains the ride.

Updated: June 20, 2019 07:34 PM

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