A fantastic week of top class racing at Ascot culminates with the Diamond Jubilee and Wokingham Stakes. Both races are run over a stiff six furlongs with the former at Group 1 level.

For our big race target this Saturday we take aim at the Wokingham Stakes which is a heritage handicap. Our job has been made slightly easier with four non runners due to the testing ground leaving all of 26 runners ready to go to post!

The younger up and coming horses usually have an advantage in handicaps as they are less exposed but that could be well turned on its head today due to heavy going. Torrential rain all yesterday almost resulted in Friday's card been abandoned and it is difficult to see the ground drying out to anything better than soft ground. We back two proven soft ground performers who stay this trip really well and even further to be honest.

Gulliver is dangerously well handicapped on a mark of 99. This horse blows hot and cold but when on a going day is well capable of winning a big field handicap like the Wokingham. In fact, last year on good ground he finished fourth off a 3lb higher mark when ridden by Ryan Moore doing his best work closest to the line. Next time out at the Curragh over 6.5f he quickened clear of the field only to pull up in front under 5lb claimer Gavin Ryan. It was most unfortunate as he got robbed on the line by Romantic Proposal in receipt of 15lbs, by a short head! That form looks strong now following Romantic Proposal’s second in the Group 3 Ballyogan Stakes behind Sonaiyla at the Curragh earlier this month.

Gulliver ran a few quiet races during last summer dropping down the ratings from 107 to 102. Of that 102 mark he powered clear to victory at York over 6 furlongs on soft ground ridden by Martin Harley. The handicapper upped him again to 109 and following several “just ok” runs he is back down to a winning mark of 99. Daniel Tudhope is booked to ride for his boss and handicap king David O’Meara. Drawn in stall 11, lets hope the speed is up the middle and the gaps open up for Gulliver to power home at a big price.

There is pace both low, middle, and high so it is anyone’s guess how the field of 26 runners will split. Usually, I would side with a younger horse who might be ahead of the handicapper in such handicaps, but all bets are on with the ground so testing this year. I am hoping the jockeys cannot help themselves but go hard up front and set this up for a closer. This six furlongs on testing ground is going to feel like a 7-furlong race and the Victoria Cup ran here over 7 furlongs in May could prove the key trial. Jamie Spencer rode Chiefofchiefs for the second time this season in the Victoria Cup where he was ridden cold out the back before picking up nicely to come home seventh.

Chiefofchiefs is down to a good mark of 99 just 4lbs higher than when he won here over this trip last summer. On that occasion he was slow away with William Buick taking him across towards the stands side group to pick up the leaders including Diamond Jubilee contender Nahaarr who was third that day. That is strong form. He contested pattern class races at the backend of last season including a staying on strongly fourth behind Dakota Gold at Doncaster. Jamie Spencer is the best hold up jockey in the business and if he can navigate a clear passage through the field I feel this Charlie Fellowes trainer horse is primed to strike.

Of the rest and younger brigade I would pick Fresh who has winning course and distance form and handles soft ground well.

Ascot - 5:00

1/2 Point Each Way Gulliver 20/1 Betfred & Unibet paying 6 places else 18/1 Paddy Power paying 7 places.

1/2 Point Each Way Chiefofcheifs 16/1 Betfred & William Hill, both paying 6 places.

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