The Wokingham is surely the target this year again!

This week I think I have found the one for the Wokingham at Royal Ascot whilst there were 2 in 1 race at York that caught my eye. So far from these posts, I have had 3 run in subsequent handicaps and they have finished

1st @ 14/1
2nd @ 40/1
4th @ 10/1 (and I think wins next time!)

Bielsa (Kevin Ryan) dropped 1lb to 95

Bielsa ran a great race last week when finishing 5th at York over 6f when arguably doing too much too early. With 2 furlongs to run he hit the front and looked like he was going to take all the beating and it was no surprise to see he traded 94.62% shorter in the run than his BFSP. He faded late on and was squeezed out right at the finish and crossed the line in 5th place. The cheekpieces I certainly think worked but may worked too good and Silvestre was in front too soon. What we have to remember is Bielsa went off 5/1 for a Wokingham off a mark of 101 so off 96 wherever he goes with a slightly more conservative ride he has to be of huge interest. I think they will continue to aim high with him but if things don’t work out in the next few runs then back at York for the Coral Sprint Trophy has to be high on his targets.

Gulliver (David O’Meara) dropped 2lb to 98

Gulliver dropping 2lb for me is the biggest mistake of the whole week from the handicapper. Go back and watch the race from just before going into the stalls, Danny Tudhope wasn’t interested in this race one bit and after jumping slowly, never really got after Gulliver until it was too late. Despite that he ran on strongly for a never nearer 6th in a race that I think will work out well anyway. Last year Gulliver finished 4th in the Wokingham at Royal Ascot off a mark of 102 when being held up and finishing fast and surely this has been the target since and I’m sure connections were delighted to see Gulliver was dropped 2lb for his run last week.

Jawwaal (Michael Dods) dropped 2lb to 93

Jawwaal was arguably given a ride that meant he was likely to get tired late on and fade away. After travelling well he tried to kick past York specialist Copper Knight with a good 2 furlongs to run and that cost him late when he got very tired. This race at York was worth £12k for the winner and I’m sure connections don’t mind getting tired here and dropping away when they have the potential of returning later in the season for the Sky Bet Dash worth at least twice as much to the winner. The Silver Wokingham would have been ideal but this race is not happening this year at Royal Ascot. I’m not sure where we will see him next but wherever he runs I think he can be very dangerous off his new low mark.

Firmament (David O’Meara) dropped 3lb to 90

Firmament is now 9 years old but was winning and running well last season as an 8 year old and this season so far he’s not been at his best. Due to this year he has dropped down to a mark of just 90 which is the lowest he’s been since June 2016. Last year it took him a couple of runs to get up to full speed with his 2nd run seeing him finishing 23rd of 23. This season his 2nd run has seen him finish 14th of 14. Although he has won over 1m, his last 2 victories at York have come over 7f and not the 7f 192y trip that he ran in last week and returning to that trip in July I think we can see some much better performances.

Sunday Sovereign (Tim Easterby) dropped 5lb to 95

Sunday Sovereign was sent off just 13/8 for the 2019 Norfolk Stakes but could only finish 8th. Since then he has raced once for Roger Varian when disappointing in the Scurry Stakes at Sandown and then for the last 2 races he’s been trained by Tim Easterby. His reappearance for Tim off a mark of 105 was disappointing when beating just 1 runner. He ran a much better race next time when beaten just 4 3/4 lengths off a mark of 100. He dropped 5lb for that effort which looks excessive. He didn’t have the best track position at York down the nearside and York isn’t actually a great course for Equiano progeny. Off 95 and at a course that suits, I think he can go much closer next time. I think he should be sent to Doncaster next time on Sunday 13th June for a horse over 5f for horses rated 76-95!