Pointing to another win for Godolphin
Godolphin's smart juvenile Blue Point has enjoyed a trouble-free preparation for Saturday's G1 Middle Park Stakes at Newmarket, according to trainer Charlie Appleby.
He comes into the race off the back of a tidy win in the G2 Gimcrack Stakes at York, and there is a general sense that he can do himself justice against nine high-class rivals.
"Blue Point has pleased in his work since the Gimcrack," Appleby said. "The conditions at Newmarket should suit. Like all Group One races, it is competitive and you have to have respect for the opposition, but I couldn't be more pleased with his preparation," he added.
Saeed bin Suroor will provide a second string to the Godolphin bow in the shape of Silver Line, who will be having his first start since his fourth in the G2 July Stakes at Newmarket.
"It's a very tough race, but I give him a chance," Saeed said. "He always tries hard, and he worked well two days ago," he pointed out.
The Middle Park has undergone a revival of late, and this renewal has attracted a strong field, which includes the well-seasoned Mehmas, as well as Peace Envoy from Ireland, and the able Mokarris, among others.
The G2 Royal Lodge Stakes has not produced an Epsom Derby winner since Benny The Dip (1997), though epic 2,000 Guineas winner Frankel (2010) landed the last run at Ascot before the race was transferred to Newmarket's Rowley Mile.
Godolphin will be represented by the Hugo Palmer-trained Best Of Days, as well as the Charlie Appleby-trained Bay Of Poets.
Best Of Days finished second to Syphax in the seven-furlong G2 Acomb Stakes at York, his first start since joining the 'Royal Blues.'
"The Royal Lodge has been the plan for Best Of Days for some time," Palmer said. "He will appreciate the step up to the mile. The worry at York was always that he might find the seven furlongs too short," Palmer said.
"He's in good order ahead of Saturday, but it will be a competitive race, as you would expect for a G2," he added.
Appleby said of Bay Of Poets: "This horse has pleased since his maiden win. It is a big step up in grade, but on evidence at home I feel he is ready to take his chance at Group level."