Blue Point looks a worthy 5/2 favourite with Coral to land a Group 1 Royal Ascot sprint double in the 6f Diamond Jubilee Stakes on Saturday (16:20).
This Charlie Appleby trained five-year-old put in an imperious display when landing another staller renewal of the King’s Stand over the flying 5f here on Tuesday.
In doing so, he retained his crown and became the 12th dual winner of the race.
After travelling strongly on the heels of the leaders, the Godolphin owned son of Shamardal took up the running at the furlong marker and ran on strongly under James Doyle to readily beat Battaash by 1 1/4 lengths.
It was a performance which oozed class and proved that Blue Point was the current king of the sprint division.
He is four races from five at Ascot with that sole defeat coming in the 2017 running this when third – so the track clearly brings out the best in him.
Prior to his King’s Stand win, he had won all his three starts this year in Meydan and now seems the finished article having strengthened up both mentaly and physically.
Blue Point now has an extra furlong to tackle, but that’s not an issue as he has a 53 per cent strike rate over 6f, having won seven of his 15 starts over it.
An official rating of 120 also gives Blue Pint 2lb and upwards in hand on his rivals, while another plus is that he is versatile as regards ground.
With Doyle once again in the saddle, his claims of following-up looks rock solid and it’s very hard to find any reason to oppose Blue Point.
Invincible Army a major Diamond Jubilee Stakes player
If Blue Point fails to live up to expectations, then the thriving Invincible Army looks the obvious one to take advantage.
This four-year-old hails from the yard of Jason Tate and has won five of his 13 starts – making the frame on five other occasions.
The son of Invincible Spirit was a useful juvenile and looked a sprinter to keep onside when landing the Group 3 Pavilion Stakes over this course and distance on seasonal bow last year.
He backed it up with a cracking nose second of eight to Sands Of Mali in the Group 2 Sandy Lane at Haydock.
Invincible Army was then far from disgraced when a four-length ninth of 22 to old rival Eqtidaar in the Group 1 Coventry Stakes at this meeting.
He comes into this on the back of two very taking successes, and was most impressive in the last of those when showing a smart turn of foot to easily beat Major Jumbo in the Group 2 Duke Of York on the Knavesmire.
Judge on the manner of that victory, Invincible Army should be well up to winning a race of this nature.
He is also five from 13 over the trip and hails from a yard in fine form at present.
Tate has his runner operating at a strike rate of 20 per cent in the last fortnight at the time of writing.
A bold bid looks assured and Invincible Army can be backed at 9/2 with Betfair to land the hat-trick.
French raider City Light the each-way play
City Light finished an excellent second in last year’s renewal and looks primed to go well again following a fine return to action.
The Stephane Wattel trained five year-old finished with a real rattle form off the pace and failed by just a short-head to overhaul Merchant Of Venice.
He had the re-opposing Bound To Nowhere and The Tin Man behind in third and fourth respectively and it was a huge run.
City Of Light comes into the race this time around on the back of just one outing when a half-a-length runner-up to Inns Of Court in a Listed contest at Maisons-Laffitte.
The son of Siyouni lost vital ground at the start that day when slowly away, but kept on nicely without being unduly knocked to be gaining all the way to the line.
It was an eye-catching effort and City Light should now be fully tuned and ready to do himself justice.
So, given that he won three times and been placed on four occasions from nine starts over the trip, he looks to hold leading claims of at least hitting the frame.
Therefore at the 8/1 on offer with BetVictor, City Light had to feature as the each-way punt in this Diamond Jubilee Stakes preview.