Timeform Preview: Diamond Jubilee Stakes

Sir Michael Stoute
Sir Michael Stoute trains an interesting outsider for Saturday's Diamond Jubilee Stakes

Timeform preview the Diamond Jubilee Stakes on the final day of Royal Ascot and pick out their best bet...

"He has created a really good impression in winning both of his starts so far this season, looking an improved performer..."

Timeform on Dream of Dreams

It is now 16 years since Australian raider Choisir completed the King's Stand/Golden Jubilee double, and, in that time, only two other horses have attempted to emulate the feat after winning Tuesday's prize, both of whom were also trained 'Down Under'.

Takeover Target was a brave winner of the King's Stand in 2006, before running a fine race (though looking slightly flat) when third in the Golden Jubilee four days later. Trained by former taxi driver Joe Janiak, he again travelled the globe to contest both races at Royal Ascot in 2007 and 2008, and the fact that he never finished out of the first four at the meeting is testament to the remarkable constitution that he possessed, with 21 wins from 41 career starts to his name, overall.

Miss Andretti had Takeover Target back in fourth when winning the King's Stand in 2007, but the task of turning out again later that week proved too much for her, ultimately failing by some way to reproduce her best form (beaten over 10 lengths).

Incidentally, Takeover Target came as close as he ever did to recording a second Royal Ascot success in that same race, going down by just a head to Soldier's Tale, and the respective fortunes of the Australian raiders that week demonstrate that it is simply impossible to know how a horse will react to having two races in such a short space of time.

That is the big question that Blue Point must answer on Saturday, with his name the surprise inclusion amongst the 18 declarations for the race now known as the Diamond Jubilee Stakes.

A three-time winner in Dubai earlier this year, Charlie Appleby's charge has now added consistency to his very high level of ability, and, on the back of a longer break than last year, he was produced in prime condition to repeat his 2018 victory over Battaash in Tuesday's King's Stand, ultimately winning by a length and a quarter. Once again, things perhaps didn't go absolutely ideally for his old rival, but Blue Point was clearly a very worthy victor, with his strength at the end of a stiff five furlongs setting him apart and helping him to hit the 130-barrier for the first time.

That form leaves him 5 lb clear of the field on weight-adjusted ratings here and, as a result, he looks sure to take all the beating if arriving in the same form, though whether he will is another matter altogether - the quickest turnaround he has made in his career to date is 14 days on two occasions, and he was beaten both times.

The chief danger to Blue Point would appear to be Invincible Army. The four-year-old won the Pavilion Stakes over this C&D on his reappearance in 2018, and though losing his way in the second half of that season, he has taken his form to a new level in two starts so far this term, including when winning the Duke of York Stakes (by two and a quarter lengths from Major Jumbo, with Yafta another three quarters of a length back in third) last time.

His timefigure on that occasion adds substance to the visual impression he made, and this up-and-coming sprinter is well worth his place towards the head of the betting, with his effort in the Commonwealth Cup at this meeting last year best ignored.

The French challenge is missing ante-post fancy Inns of Court, but the prize could still be heading across the Channel courtesy of City Light. He won his first three starts of 2018, notably the Prix de Saint-Georges at Longchamp, and was arguably unlucky not to complete the four-timer in this race, when beaten just a short head by Merchant Navy after missing the break.

Admittedly, his form petered out somewhat in the second half of that season, but he made an encouraging return when half a length second to Inns of Court in a listed race at Maisons-Laffitte in April - form that has worked out well - and it would be no surprise to see him go close again here, with this likely to have been his target all along.

Bound For Nowhere (third), The Tin Man (fourth) and Projection (fifth) are others who contested this race 12 months ago. The former is a very smart performer on his day, and though vulnerable for win purposes, there is no reason why he shouldn't give another good account at a venue that clearly suits him well, while similar comments apply to The Tin Man. A three-time Group 1 winner overall, he won this race in 2017 and is entitled to strip fitter for his reappearance in listed company at Windsor.

The winner of that heat was Dream of Dreams, who proved better than ever to extend his winning sequence this season to two. Sir Michael Stoute's charge found winning tough last term, but he is certainly making up for that now, with both of his wins strongly suggesting that he has returned better than ever at the age of five.

Admittedly, his form still doesn't match up to that shown by those towards the head of the betting here, but the way in which he travelled and quickened at Windsor left little doubt that he'll be capable of taking his form to another level when given the right platform to do so - a strongly-run six furlongs at Ascot should be right up his street and he looks well worth another try in this exalted company.

Sands of Mali has less to find having produced an effort verging on high-class to win the Champions Sprint Stakes over C&D last October. Admittedly, he has been a long way below that form in his two starts so far this season, but his good course record is a big plus - he also finished second in last year's Commonwealth Cup at this meeting (half a length behind Eqtidaar, with Emblazoned a length further back in third) - and it would be no surprise to see him bounce back, especially as he clearly handles soft ground very well (won on heavy).

Like Blue Point, Le Brivido has a quick turnaround to contend with, having finished three lengths fifth to Lord Glitters in Tuesday's Queen Anne Stakes. That was the third time in as many starts for Aidan O'Brien that he has failed to meet expectations, and the drop back to six furlongs probably needs to bring about some improvement if he is going to play a more prominent role here.

Others to note include Donjuan Triumphant and Kachy. The former is at his best with give in the ground, and this wouldn't be the first time that he has hit the frame at a big price in such conditions, while Kachy is one of the quickest horses around, as he showed when recording a hat-trick on the all-weather during the winter. He was well below that level in the Temple Stakes at Haydock last time, though, and the balance of his form suggests that he simply isn't quite so good on turf.

In summary, Blue Point rates by far the likeliest winner if reproducing the form of his King's Stand victory earlier this week, but that is reflected in the betting and, at bigger odds, it could be worth taking a chance on Dream of Dreams. He has created a really good impression in winning both of his starts so far this season, looking an improved performer, and a bold hat-trick bid could be on the cards with with man of the moment Danny Tudhope taking over in saddle. Invincible Army and City Light complete the shortlist.

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Betfair's 'minimum bet guarantee' on all Class 1 and 2 races in the UK and Ireland - which means all customers are able to bet to win a minimum of £500 - has been extended to cover all races at selected meetings this week. T&Cs apply.

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