Godolphin speed machine Blue Point will attempt to become the first horse in 16 years to complete a rare Royal Ascot double when he lines up in the Group One Diamond Jubilee Stakes (1,200m) on Saturday.
After blitzing his rivals in Tuesday night’s Group One King’s Stand Stakes (1,000m), trainer Charlie Appleby has elected to back up the five-year-old with just four days break.
“He came out of the race well and, from what we have seen so far, the signs have been good,” he said.
“His well-being will continue to be monitored ahead of Saturday’s race, but we felt that he deserved the chance to win another Group One at Ascot.”
“We were delighted with Blue Point’s performance on Tuesday and he seems to bring his A-game to Ascot.”
Australian sprinter Choisir was the last galloper to achieve the King’s Stand Stakes-Diamond Jubilee Stakes double back in 2003.
Beaten King’s Stand runners Le Brivido and Enzo’s Lad will also back up in the race.
Blue Point has continued his remarkable run of form after failing to beat a runner home in last season’s Group One Chairman’s Sprint Prize (1,200m) at Sha Tin when he was comprehensively beaten by the likes of Ivictory, Mr Stunning and Beat The Clock.
The five-year-old has gone on to win three Group Ones, including back-to-back King’s Stand Stakes.
Blue Point is set to fight out favouritism in the race with up-and-comer Invincible Army.
While it may be a case of David vs Goliath for little-known trainer James Tate against the might of Godolphin in the race, he takes confidence out of prior results.
The Diamond Jubilee has been won by a rich variety of trainers and owners, unlike other major races in the five-day carnival.
Tate is yet to pick up a winner at the royal meeting and his in-form sprinter represents his best chance.
“His sire, Invincible Spirit, didn’t win a Group 1 race until he was five and Invincible Army has always looked like a horse who would be better as a four-year-old,” he said.
“He has done very well over the winter. He’s not only stronger physically but much better mentally, too. He was a bit silly before.
“I think he’s a worthy favourite. It doesn’t look a vintage crop of sprinters and he’s in fantastic shape, he’s bouncing. If he does win it will be my first winner at Royal Ascot and my first Group One winner.”
Past winner The Tin Man will also line up in the race as he looks to build on his formidable Ascot record.
The 22-start warhorse boasts nine wins and four placings in his career and is yet to run poorly at the famed track.
“I have had three great horses, Soviet Song, Society Rock and The Tin Man. He likes it at Ascot, seems very well and is moving very well at home,” trainer James Fanshawe said.
In his comeback race at Windsor last month, The Tin Man was beaten by Dream Of Dreams after a troubled run but Fanshawe was not disheartened.
“The important thing about Windsor was that The Tin Man had a run. Since then everything has gone well,” he said.