Royal Ascot weekend pointers: 25/1 Wokingham punt impresses

horse racing

With a week to go until the most famous race meeting on the planet begins, anticipation for this year’s Royal Ascot is simmering.

As trainers around the globe put their final preparations toward the trip to Berkshire, both Haydock and Goodwood threw up some interesting results.

But what caught caught our eye?


Raatea roused

The big winner of the weekend came in the SkyBet Reverence Handicap as Raatea threw his Top Hat into the ring for the Wokingham.

As 9/4f and June specialist Mr Wagyu floundered, Julie Camacho would have been delighted with her gelding.

With fellow big-shots Emperor Spirit and Nomadic Empire following Raatea home at 13/2, his backers would have taken note.

Though a first win in almost a year, the now 6yo has flourished in the summer months in previous terms.

Indeed, in four June outings, he has now been beaten only once.

With the latest 6f dash to come Saturday week, Raatea has proved a liking for the firmer and faster ground.

Though Orazio remains the favourite for this particular sprint, you may not find a better punt during Royal Ascot 2023.

A long price at 25/1 with BetVictor but far from a no-hoper.


Candleford cold

At the other end of the market, it was not the ideal outing for William Haggas hopeful, Candleford.

He came home only third behind Peripatetic and Charlie Appleby’s First Ruler.

Set to line-up in the Hardwicke Stakes – also a week on Saturday – the 5yo who won the Duke of Edinburgh 12 months ago, struggled on the baked turf.

As Goodwood broiled, the ground become similar to that of last summer.

Admittedly, that was the same good to firm going that brought the gelding a six-length victory, but that win at Ascot was his last.

It’s now six trips for the son of Kingman without taking the winning post first.

Candleford is currently fifth in the betting to complete an Ascot double on successive years.

However, taking on the likes of Adayar and AP O’Brien’s Broome-Bolshoi Ballet double, this was not a good marker to lay.


Equilateral shaping up

Returning to Merseyside meanwhile, Frankie Dettori may have gone winless at Haydock this weekend, but Equilateral showed promise.

Runner-up for the second race on the spin, trainer Charlie Hills would have been pleased even if a beaten favourite.

Equilateral is set to take on the mighty Highfield Princess and the burgeoning Dramatised in the Kings Stand.

Though the early antepost price is hefty – an even bigger one than Raatea – he will still be worth looking at.

It stands to reason that Equilateral has his doubters; all three of his wins since 2020 have come at Meydan.

However, if the rains don’t come in the next week – and they aren’t expected – he looks a fantastic long-price shot.

On his day, Equilateral is a fast finisher and if in touch with the pack, may bolt up at a huge 50/1 with BetUK.

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