Best Of Days (centre) winning the Royal Lodge under James Doyle
PICTURE: Martin Lynch (racingpost.com/photos)
By Alex Wiltshire 2:24PM 24 SEP 2016
Report: Newmarket, Saturday
Juddmonte Royal Lodge Stakes (Group 2), 1m, 2yo colts and geldings
BEST OF DAYS held off a strong late challenge from The Anvil to win the Royal Lodge Stakes and give James Doyle a welcome victory in Godolphin blue just days after he lost the number one jockey position at Saeed Bin Suroor’s yard.
The Hugo Palmer-trained winner was bought by Sheikh Mohammed’s operation after an impressive maiden victory at Sandown in July. He finished second on his first start for Godolphin in the Acomb Stakes at York but scored his first Group victory here.
Frankel is among those to have previously won the Royal Lodge and Best Of Days was cut to also claim Classic glory, with BetVictor going 25-1 from 33s for both the Qipco 2,000 Guineas and the Investec Derby.
Palmer said: “The horse was gorgeous from the moment he arrived. He was home bred by his previous owner, who sold him to Godolphin. It is impossible to overplay the part that James [Doyle] has made here.
“I was terribly worried about the ground as he was a little jarred up at York. So I said to James that as he hit the rising ground, he would have to get him in top gear and then just believe he will stay, as he is by a King George winner in Azamour and out of a mare by High Chaparral who obviously stayed a mile-and-a-half as well. James did that absolutely to the letter.
“We can dream of the Derby now.”