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Royal Ascot 2015: Wokingham Stakes preview (17.00)

| 20.06.2015

The big betting race on the final day of Royal Ascot is the Wokingham Stakes, and Polybius looks decent each-way value in a typically ultra-competitive renewal of the 6f handicap.

Trained by David Lanigan, the gelding showed progressive form throughout last season when winning three of his seven starts.

Polybius was most impressive in the last of those when beating Royal Mezyan at Kempton, where after dwelling at the start he made stealthy headway on the inside to take up the running at the furlong marker before showing a smart turn of foot to win by 2 1/4 lengths off a mark of 94.

It was a performance which the son of Oasis Dream him out as a pattern performer in the making, and that view was confirmed on Polybius’s final start last season when a staying on 1 1/4 length third to Intransigent in a Listed contest at Lingfield off an official rating of 102.

Polybius is now able to race off 100, and meets the winner on 7lb better terms.

That makes the four-year-old look nicely treated from a handicapping perspective, and although Polybius failed to sparkle on reappearance at York he was very tenderly handled and looks sure to come on a bundle for the run.

With underfoot conditions ideal and Ted Durcan in the saddle, everything looks in place for a big run.

There are dangers aplenty, and one of the most interesting is Zarwaan.

The Ed Dunlop trained gelding posted some excellent efforts in top class handicaps as a three-year-old, including when fifth of 30 in the Britannia Stakes over 1m at this meeting 12 months ago.

Zarwaan now tries 6f for the first time, having posted two really solid efforts this season.

After finishing a highly creditable sixth in the Lincoln over 1m at Doncaster, the son of Dutch Art ran a blinder at this venue when seventh of 26 to Speculative Bid in the 7f Victoria Cup.

Zarwaan travelled really strongly in the latter and held every chance inside the final furlong until weakening close home, and it was an effort which suggested he could well be the ideal type for this contest.

Coral betting tip: Polybius is well worth a punt each-way.



David Metcalf

A lifelong Manchester United supporter, David has over 25 years’ experience in the media industry having worked for regional and national newspapers. He is a huge horse racing, football and greyhound fan and has done interviews on various radio and TV stations, including talkSPORT and Sky Sports, whilst working as a PR front man for a betting firm. David has also written for most of the top Premier League football fan websites, and produced a Cheltenham Festival guide with former eight-times champion national hunt jockey Peter Scudamore, MBE, after helping him to set up a syndicate for his trainer son Michael.