FOLLOWING on from the Diamond Jubilee is the Wokingham Handicap (5.00pm), one of the biggest betting races of the week. With 30 horses sprinting up Ascot’s home straight, you may think you’ve got a better chance of landing tonight’s EuroMillions than finding the winner. It’s an incredibly difficult race, for sure, and nobody really knows where to be drawn. The most sensible strategy is to back one from each side and hope that one of them is good enough.
Roger Charlton has trained some top class sprinters over the years and I have a feeling HUNTSMANS CLOSE could turn out to be another one.
He has an entry in the July Cup and looks to be very well treated off a mark of 98. He won last year’s Ayr Silver Cup and was an excellent second on his reappearance at Newmarket.
William Buick takes over in the saddle and he has plenty of options from his draw in stall 17. Take the 10/1 with Betway.
I’m also going to have a few quid on Olly Stevens’ GAMESOME at a general 14/1, as he looks another who is ahead of the handicapper.
He’s drawn on the far side, which was the place to be in Wednesday’s Royal Hunt Cup, and ran a cracker in the same race as Huntsmans Close at Newmarket last time.
A wonderful five days of racing comes to an end tomorrow afternoon when a field of 14 go to post for the Queen Alexandra Stakes (5.35pm) over a marathon 2m5f trip.
Ryan Moore and trainer Willie Mullins teamed up to win this race 12 months ago with Pique Sous and the pair can repeat the trick with useful hurdler WICKLOW BRAVE.
The talented six-year-old ran out an emphatic winner of the County Hurdle at this year’s Cheltenham Festival and has been in good form since, winning twice on the level last month.
His biggest dangers look to be John Gosden’s Marzocco and Andrew Balding’s Rawaki. But neither should be good enough to stop man of the moment Ryan Moore. Few things have been this week.
HUNTSMANS CLOSE e/w 5.00pm Ascot (tomorrow)
GAMESOME e/w 5.00pm Ascot (tomorrow)
WICKLOW BRAVE 5.35pm Ascot (tomorrow)