A cracking sprint heritage handicap with a maximum field of 28 declared. All the racing has been up the middle to the far side of the straight course this week.
That makes this race a little tricky as all the pace horses are drawn in the high stall numbers in the Wokingham! Just another element of this tricky puzzle to try and resolve on route to our next big priced winner 😉
It has been strange how the jockeys have all decided to race up the middle to far side this week thus far on the straight course. According to TurfTrax the faster ground/reading is the stands side yet that ground remains unraced and fresh all week. All the pace is drawn high in the Wokingham Stakes so I am backing two horses drawn high who will be fine even if the consensus is to race up the middle of the course. Jumby goes well on fast ground as he proved last season when finishing third to Great Ambassador at Newmarket last summer. The winner went on to finish second under a big weight in the Ayr Gold Cup and runs in the Platinum Jubilee stakes which is a Group 1 race today. Jumby proved that run no fluke winning twice at the backend of last season including over 7f at Newmarket. This season he started off with a good run when third to Double or Bubble & Garrus in the Group 3 Abernant stakes. That is always a good sprint and proved Jumby can progress again this season. We can forgive his latest run again at Newmarket when beaten 5l by Blackrod. Jumby was slow away losing a few lengths which was enough to ensure he was never going to get involved in the finish. William Buick retains the ride which is a positive and with some luck in running coming through the pack, he can run a massive race today.
David O’Meara runs two with James Doyle back in the plate on Summerghand. James has ridden Summerghand twice, finishing fourth to Starman at Group 2 level at York as well as an agonising nose second to Hey Jonesy in this race in 2020. This horse can blow hot or cold but when on a going day is a talented horses. He goes nicely on fast ground as he showed when easily accounting for Tabdeed at Newmarket last summer in a listed sprint over 6f. The handicapper raised him to a mark of 112 for the Ayr Gold Cup last autumn so he looks nicely treated today off a mark of 101. He didn’t really perform in Dubai or when back home at Newmarket in April. However, his latest run at York in a handicap won by Dakota Gold was more encouraging. Danny Tudhope only waved the whip at him a couple of times during the final two furlongs with the horse running well through the line. Summerghand is a hold up horse who needs a fast pace as he loves to come over the top as the leaders come back to the field. I like that he is drawn high around the pace horses and set to run a big race with conditions and weight to suit.
Those to just miss out were Fresh who runs well at Ascot but is priced up much too short as well as Tabdeed who drops into handicap company on a nice handicap mark.
Ascot – 5:00
0.5 point each way Jumby 16/1 Paddy Power, Betfair SB & Bet365, all paying 7 places.
0.5 point each way Summerghand 22/1 Bet365 7 places.