Doyle looking forward to Dreamfield's July Cup bid
“When John Gosden puts one in, you have to sit up and take notice.”
That was jockey James Doyle’s assessment of his mount Dreamfield for Saturday’s Darley July Cup Stakes at Newmarket (2.15pm).
The four-year-old may have surrendered his unbeaten record last time out in the Wokingham Stakes at Royal Ascot, but he returned to Gosden’s Clarehaven Stables base with plenty of credit in the bank.
Sent off as the 2-1 favourite, Dreamfield lost by the smallest of margins to the Brian Meehan-trained Bacchus.
He is now set to reappear – with Doyle once again in the saddle – at the July Course this weekend, with owners Godolphin looking to make it back-to-back wins in the Group 1 contest following Harry Angel’s triumph 12 months ago.
Ashley-based Doyle is confident his 8-1 shot has improved from his Ascot outing, with history also in his favour.
Gosden may have only had his hands on the July Cup once, but crucially that 2003 success came courtesy of Oasis Dream – Dreamfield’s sire.
Doyle said: “I was gutted he did not win at Ascot but he did really well.
“I think he did everything he could, especially because there was no speed on our side.
“He wandered a little bit towards the end, but all things considered, to get so close was a fantastic effort.
“He is going to have to step up on Saturday but Ascot has given him that little bit more experience.
“I am really excited at what he could potentially produce.”
Godolphin go into the race double-handed, with Charlie Appleby’s 11-4 favourite Blue Point the one the rest of the field need to beat.
The four-year-old was impressive when winning the King’s Stand Stakes at Ascot last month, though that was over a minimum trip and this assignment requires stepping back up to six furlongs.
Doyle is well aware of the horse’s credentials, having ridden him twice before, and has admitted it is going to be tough to overhaul the son of 2004 Dewhurst Stakes winner Shamardal.
“Blue Point caught the eye at Ascot and it is not going to be easy to beat him,” added the jockey.
“We are going to need to raise our game to stand any chance, no doubt about it.
“It is possible (to beat him), but it was a bold showing from Blue Point at Ascot and I am sure Charlie is looking for him to build on that.
“From my point of view, if Dreamfield shows signs of improvement, you never know.”
Moulton Paddocks’ Appleby, meanwhile, has no concerns over Blue Point’s ability to make the step up.
“Blue Point has come out of the King’s Stand Stakes very well,” he said.
“He will be stepping
back up to six furlongs but a stiff six is well within his compass.
“He holds the Ascot track record at that trip, don’t forget, and he was placed in a Dewhurst Stakes over seven furlongs as a two-year-old.”