Skip to main content

Wokingham Stakes preview

For me Saturday will be all about Black Caviar, but she's not really a betting option, so we need to look a bit wider. Examining the conundrum which is the Wokingham Handicap is a first-previewer on my blog, Sunday Independent writer Ronan Groome. You can follow him on Twitter @ronangroome20

--------------

If, by the time the Wokingham Stakes comes round, you’re still looking for your first winner at this year’s Royal Ascot meeting, there is a good chance you’re not going to find it in this 29-runner field. On the flip side if you do manage to unlock the code, there is every chance your punting week could be turned right around.

Double figure odds the field, with most firms offering ¼ the odds first five each way terms, there is some cracking value to be found in this the last big handicap race of the week.

By far the most interesting runner in the race is ex-Aussie sprinter Scarf. This son of Lonhro moved to Godolphin earlier this year and started his campaign with a couple of decent efforts in Meydan. He was slightly disappointing on his first two starts in Britain in listed company but then put up a cracking effort to finish second to Tariq Too at Doncaster over seven furlongs. That effort means that he is 6lbs well in here, and back over six furlongs on his desired soft ground, he looks well capable of outrunning his best odds of 25/1. We all know how successful the Aussie sprinters have been at Ascot, and this fellow may well be able to follow in his compatriot’s footsteps.

It’s difficult to gauge which side you want to be on, so if you’re going to back two or three here, perhaps the best strategy is to split them across the track. High Standing, the choice of Ryan Moore, will reside in stall one and the 2009 winner of this race looks interesting here. Of course, a lot has changed since Jeremy Gask’s horse came into this race as a progressive four-year-old with just 10 starts to his name, but there was so much to like about his latest effort to finish fourth in a decent six-furlong handicap at Newmarket.

The son of High Yield was held up in the last pair before finishing really fast and just failing to pick up the leaders. He was best of those who were held up and the three who finished ahead of him raced as the front trio throughout the race. For that reason he deserves a lot of credit and he is worth playing as well at 20/1. I’m not a fan of backing more than two horses in a race so that is where my betting interest will finish, but I wouldn’t put anyone off High Standing’s stablemate Medicean Man. He’s an Ascot specialist, he handles soft ground and he ran a cracker to be fourth in the King’s Stand on Tuesday. Providing there are no ill-effects from that run, he should make a bold bid.

Others on my shortlist were Mac’s Power, Colonel Mak and King Of Jazz. The first-mentioned is just the type for a big-field handicap and ran a cracker in this race last year when he “won” the race on his side of the track. Colonel Mak has put in two cracking efforts lately and looks in good heart, while King Of Jazz is the most interesting of those unexposed and ran really well previously on soft ground on this track.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

lay the field - my favourite racing strategy

Dabbling with laying the field in-running at various prices today, not just one price, but several in the same race. Got several matched in the previous race at Brighton, then this race came along at Nottingham. Such a long straight at Nottingham makes punters often over-react and think the finish line is closer than it actually is. As you can see by the number of bets matched, there was plenty of volatility in this in-play market. It's rare you'll get a complete wipe-out with one horse getting matched at all levels, but it can happen, so don't give yourself too much risk...

Racing has a Ponzi scheme - and the fallout will be enormous

When the term 'Ponzi scheme' is mentioned these days, the names Bernard Madoff and Allen Stanford instantly spring to mind. The pair of them ran multi-billion dollar frauds (US$60bn and $8bn respectively) that destroyed the lives of thousands of investors who had put their life savings into a 'wonderful' investment strategy. How so many people were sucked into the scheme is baffling to those on the outside. The lifestyle, the sales pitch, the success stories of the early investors - I suppose it all adds up.

So where does this link to racing you ask? A prominent Australian 'racing identity' this week has been reported to have lost access to a bank account with punters' club funds of $194m in it. Firstly - is there a worse term for anyone to be labelled with that 'racing identity'? It ALWAYS ends up meaning shonky crook! Secondly - who the hell has a punters' club with an active bankroll in the tens of millions? It simply can't be done.

The…

damage control when trading goals

When trades go bad, some people will say cut your losses immediately, others will recommend having a bit of patience as events tend to level out (i.e. games with two goals in the first 10 mins never end up with 18 goals in 90 minutes). This is something I like to do on certain matches.

Background:
1. You've backed Under 2.5 goals, trying to nick a few ticks at a time as the clock ticks.
2. You've been caught out by a goal.
3. The market has gone sharply against you.

On this particular match from a couple of weeks ago, there was an early goal (sixth minute) before I got involved. The period immediately after an early goal regularly shows a sharp drop in the Under price, so I was trying to capitalise on that. But Watford then scored again after 14 minutes. The Back price I took (3.95) was now out to 12 - I could close out for a big loss (not my style) or wait and wait for the price to come back to somewhere I could close out for minimal damage. But at 2-0 after 15 minutes, it w…