Tony’s Trends – Royal Ascot Day 5 – The Wokingham Handicap – Will the Trends Throw Up Even More Winners?

I truly wish I was writing this before the results from Day 3 were common knowledge. Nevertheless, we are still in profit after the win and decent place that we achieved on Day 2. With thanks to William Hill for great odds provided on that occasion.

The Day 3 action all took place in the middle to low side of the draw and Tranquil Night ploughed almost a lone furrow, staying on the high side of the course and just trailing in at the back end of the field.

Having put up the winner on Day 2, putting up one that placed last on Day 3 was a bit of a come down to say the least. The other horse I put up, Yanafis, ran well enough, but in this big-field Handicap, he was just not quite good enough.

I hope by the time The Wokingham Handicap starts, which is the subject of the Day 5 Trends, we will have better news from Day 4 and will have added more to our winnings!

Discord update

If you were in the Discord channel, you would already be aware that virtually all the members used extra places and big prices (which is why you should always use Oddschecker before you place a bet) to back Ribhi, an 80/1 outsider that our very own Joe Mc Cabe spotted. And that is just one good reason for joining our Discord community, there’s plenty more where that one came from!

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17.00 The Wokingham Handicap, 6 furlongs

The Wokingham is one of the major Flat races of the year, so it is targeted by all trainers. It was established in 1813 and the inaugural running was won by Pointers, owned by the Duke of York. For many years the Wokingham Stakes was divided into two or three separate classes, but it became a single race in 1874.

Ignoring 2005 when the meeting was held in York, we will once again review the 33 renewals since 1988, as there has not been a major change in the winner’s profile since that time.

Technically, I will be reviewing 34 winners though, as there was a dead heat declared between Ratio and Fayr Jag in 2003.


This is a Handicap for three-year-olds and upwards, so winners have come from a wide age range: 3 years (x 1), 4 years (x 12), 5 years (x 14), 6 years (x 5), 7 years (x 1) and 8 years (x 1).

Rohaan in 2021 was the only three-year-old winner, Selhurstpark Flyer in 1998 was the only seven-year-old (when following up on his 1997 success as the only dual winner of the race) and Out Do in 2018 was the only eight-year-old to win.


Since 1988 winners have carried a wide variety of weights ranging from 08-01 to 09-12, the highest being carried by Mac’s Fighter in 1989.

However, in more recent years, it has paid to concentrate on those carrying between 08-06 and 09-10, as 21 of the last 22 have carried at least 08-11.


Twelve of the previous 34 winners were sent off at odds of 10/1, or less with just four Favourites obliging, the last being Cape Byron in 2019. By coincidence, all four were aged five years.

A further 14 winners were sent off at odds between 11/1 and 20/1. The last eight were sent off at prices of 22/1 (x 1), 25/1 (x 2), 28/1 (x 2) and 33/1 (x 4, the last being Bacchus in 2018).

The draw has not been a major deciding factor in the race, with winners coming from a mix of low and high draws. However, Stall 1 has supplied five winners and Stall 10 has supplied a further four, including the last three winners! (See note below).Those who had achieved a Flat OR rating, were allotted between 80 and 107, although the last 18 attained a rating of at least 91.Those who had achieved a Flat RPR rating were allotted between 63 and 115. If we remove the outlier (Hey Jonsey in 2020, who ran on unsuitably soft ground and had posted a better RPR in the race the previous year) then we are looking at RPRs between 93 and 115.Only two winners were making their seasonal debut and both had run over course and distance in the season before, with Laddies Poker Two sustaining an injury after a course and distance win in 2010 and Bacchus, who ran well over course and distance the year before.22 of the last 26 winners have run at Ascot previously, but many had run over further, or were course and distance winners. The other four had their prep in a Class 2 Handicap or a Group 3 race and placed in the first two.Of the last 23 winners who had made their seasonal debut, 20 finished in the first three on their final start, with two having a reason for not doing so (Baltic King in 2006 ran with credit in a Group 2 and Hey Jonsey in 2020 ran on soft ground over further). The third, Bacchus, is an outlier in multiple Trends.

Note: For the benefit of those who might want to bet on a Stall number, Urban Beat is in Stall 1 and Tiger Crusade is in Stall 10.

In short, the Trends indicate we are looking for horses who (ideally) have course form and who still have room for improvement.

I will firstly discount those runners who have too much, or too little weight, taking jockey Claims into account:

Alligator Alley (Reserve and too low)Stone of Destiny (Reserve)Total Commitment (Reserve)Rohan (Too high and also just one repeat winner)

Next, I will remove any runner aged more than six years, which excludes the following runners:

Urban BeatTabdeedSummerghandBatwanMr WagyuGulliverBielsa

Now I will now discount any of the remaining runners who did not finish in the top four places last time out without an obvious reason:

Volatile Analyst (ran poorly here in big-field Handicap last year)Tiger CrusadeJumbyComanche FallsVentura Tormenta (making his seasonal debut)Fivethousandtoone

I will also discount any of the runners who do not meet the OR or RPR requirements, which removes (OR is slightly too high)

Finally, I will take out any runner that has not run here previously at a distance of at least 6 furlongs:

Prince Lancelot (in addition, his form is all on softer ground)Quarantine Dreams (also the current Favourite) William Hill

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We are now left with ten horses who qualify on the Trends, which I will look at in race card order.

Asjad has been a revelation this year, winning two big-field Handicaps at Redcar and York. On the first occasion, his trainer had multiple winners that day and could do no wrong, but more recently, the yard has not been firing and as a result I’ll discount him.

Lampang is interesting, given the jockey booking the trainer has made. This Aussie rider has had two winners and helped me out by steering Dark Shift to victory on Day 3! Lampang ran in this race last year and is 4lbs better off than for that run. However, he lost his way in the second half of last year. He was subsequently gelded and returned to form last time out, having tumbled down the weights. He is also a five-year-old, so he ticks a number of boxes.

Blackrod is a serious horse and has not been out of the places in his last five runs, which have all been in all in big-field Handicaps. However, his lack of form at this course is a concern. He has beaten several rivals (that will reoppose) in those races and is raised just 5lbs for his last win. Above, who was up close that day, ran poorly here on Day 3, so I’m worried about the lack of franked form for this horse.

Dubai Station was becoming the original ‘nearly’ horse, finishing second multiple times until finally winning at Chelmsford last time out. He had a few rivals behind him that day, but may struggle to confirm the form on the revised terms of this race.

First Folio is another who has been running well in big-field Handicaps, but in his case without winning. This means he is creeping up the weights and in addition, his trainer is out of form, so I’m not sure if he can improve enough to win here.

Popmaster had a course and distance win in 2021, but after that his yard were out of form and he was unplaced in his next four races. He redeemed himself a little after coming second when narrowly beaten by Dubai Station at Chelmsford last month. His trainer reports that he is in great form, also stating that the horse seems “better in smaller fields”, so a major no-no here.

Fresh ran well here in May, doing the best from those with a low draw. Ropey Guest, who was also drawn poorly that day, ran well in the Buckingham on Day 3, giving the form even more substance. My main concern is that Fresh has not run on ground this fast previously.

Apollo One is an outsider who has been running well in defeat like First Folio. He also finished close up to Blackrod and ahead of Popmaster last July, giving them almost a stone in a blanket finish. He reopposes getting weight today (10lbs when taking his riders claim into account) on account of his performance at Newmarket in April, where he lost his action in the dip and at four times the current price might have been a value play.

Silver Samurai has won two on the bounce, coming on with a real turn of foot since being dropped back in trip. He needs a fast pace to have his finishing kick be seen to best effect and that should be the case here. He ran well here earlier in the season, so we know he handles Ascot and has also run well in bigger fields, so I can see this working out well.

Chairmanoftheboard is one who has delivered with a bit of cut in the ground and this fast ground will not suit. He is also a six-year-old, so while not discounted automatically, he has a different profile to the last two winners of that age (they both carried 9-10 and he has just 8-12). Given these concerns I will have to pass him over.

Thw Wokingham Handicap conclusion

My two against the field are Silver Samurai at 10/1 and Lampang at 25/1, who have both been rejuvenated this year. I hope that they can take advantage of this in a big, wide-open race.

Don’t forget…

A number of Bookies are already going to seven or more places, so as always, look around for value and use Oddschecker as your guide. There’s also still time to grab some of the fantastic bookie offers and deals available at, so don’t miss out on those either!



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Author: Ronald Butler