Extras to give backers edge

Forty per cent of today's runners at Royal Ascot are concentrated in one event, so the sensible approach for backers is to concentrate on the other five. The odds about them doing so, however, are only slightly longer than those on the Queen spending the afternoon in the Silver Ring.

The Wokingham Handicap is invariably Ascot's race of last resort, and while the bookmakers have suffered several reverses over the last two days, most have paid out with a grin, confident that the Wokingham will save them. Thirty runners will arrive at the finishing post only marginally further apart than they were when the stalls opened six furlongs back down the course, and those who take a logical approach cannot even rely on one side of the course being favoured, since the early-paced horses seem to be spread evenly through the field.

An interesting fact, though, is that 10 of the last 15 Wokingham winners have been returned at 16-1 or less, a trend which, if it were repeated today, would remove two-thirds of the field from the argument. This is, after all, not just any sprint handicap, and the winners tend to be steered towards Ascot from an early stage of the season, a point which is inevitably reflected in the market.

That said, backing Humbert's Landing, the favourite this morning at around 8-1, would be an unforgivable act of folly given that at least five horses have an equal claim on the book. Three who stand out are Astrac, Castlerea Lad and NO EXTRAS (nap 3.45), who finished third, beaten two short-heads, in the race last year. At the early odds, Gary Moore's runner must be worth an interest at 22-1 with William Hill, if only because he seems to have been pointed towards today's race ever since his near-miss 12 months ago.

In the card's other valuable sprint, the King's Stand Stakes, it is hard to see beyond Mind Games (4.20), although a similar comment applied to Lake Coniston in the Cork and Orrery yesterday and he contrived to be beaten. There is better value to be had in an unusually strong renewal of the King Edward VII Stakes, in which Don Corleone (next best 4.55) can surprise the more exposed runners, Classic Cliche and Pentire.

A less impressive assortment will pound around the 12-furlong course a couple of hours earlier in the Hardwicke Stakes. Zilzal Zamaan was an impressive winner at Chester last month but will be vulnerable over this very different course and it may be significant that John Hills, who saddled Broadway Flyer to finish fourth to Zilzal Zamaan at Chester, sends out Wind In Her Hair (3.05) against the favourite today.

Several races billed as two-runner contests have gone elsewhere already this week, and the pattern may continue in the Windsor Castle Stakes. Tadeo (2.30) should be backed to beat Applaud and Polaris Flight, while New Reputation (5.30) may arrive home first in the Queen Alexandra Stakes, the longest race in the Flat campaign, shortly before the security guards turn out the lights.

More than 90 years of car history are coming to an end with the abolition of the paper car-tax disc
newsThis and other facts you never knew about the paper circle - completely obsolete tomorrow
people'I’d rather have Fred and Rose West quote my characters on childcare'
Kim Jong Un gives field guidance during his inspection of the Korean People's Army (KPA) Naval Unit 167
newsSouth Korean reports suggest rumours of a coup were unfounded
Arts and Entertainment
You could be in the Glastonbury crowd next summer if you follow our tips for bagging tickets this week
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Kylie performs during her Kiss Me Once tour
musicReview: 26 years on from her first single, the pop princess tries just a bit too hard at London's O2
The erotic novel Fifty Shades of Grey has already been blamed for a rise in the number of callouts to the fire brigade for people trapped in handcuffs
voicesJustine Elyot: Since Fifty Shades there's no need to be secretive about it — everyone's at it
Life and Style
Moves to regulate e-cigarettes and similar products as medicines come amid increasing evidence of their effectiveness
healthHuge anti-smoking campaign kicks off on Wednesday
Piers Morgan tells Scots they might not have to suffer living on the same island as him if they vote ‘No’ to Scottish Independence
peopleBroadcaster has a new role bringing 'the big stories that matter' to US
Arts and Entertainment
A new Banksy entitled 'Art Buff' has appeared in Folkestone, Kent
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Senior Marketing Manager - Central London - £50,000

£40000 - £50000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager (Campaigns, Offlin...

Head of Marketing - Acquisition & Direct Reponse Marketing

£90000 - £135000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Head of Marketing (B2C, Acquisition...

1st Line Service Desk Analyst

£27000 - £30000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client who are...

Trainee Recruitment Consultant - Birmingham - Huxley Associates

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: Huxley Associates are currentl...

Day In a Page

Isis is an hour from Baghdad, the Iraq army has little chance against it, and air strikes won't help

Isis an hour away from Baghdad -

and with no sign of Iraq army being able to make a successful counter-attack
Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

The exhibition nods to rich and potentially brilliant ideas, but steps back
Last chance to see: Half the world’s animals have disappeared over the last 40 years

Last chance to see...

The Earth’s animal wildlife population has halved in 40 years
So here's why teenagers are always grumpy - and it's not what you think

Truth behind teens' grumpiness

Early school hours mess with their biological clocks
Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?

Hacked photos: the third wave

Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?
Royal Ballet star dubbed 'Charlize Theron in pointe shoes' takes on Manon

Homegrown ballerina is on the rise

Royal Ballet star Melissa Hamilton is about to tackle the role of Manon
Education, eduction, education? Our growing fascination with what really goes on in school

Education, education, education

TV documentaries filmed in classrooms are now a genre in their own right
It’s reasonable to negotiate with the likes of Isis, so why don’t we do it and save lives?

It’s perfectly reasonable to negotiate with villains like Isis

So why don’t we do it and save some lives?
This man just ran a marathon in under 2 hours 3 minutes. Is a 2-hour race in sight?

Is a sub-2-hour race now within sight?

Dennis Kimetto breaks marathon record
We shall not be moved, say Stratford's single parents fighting eviction

Inside the E15 'occupation'

We shall not be moved, say Stratford single parents
Air strikes alone will fail to stop Isis

Air strikes alone will fail to stop Isis

Talks between all touched by the crisis in Syria and Iraq can achieve as much as the Tornadoes, says Patrick Cockburn
Nadhim Zahawi: From a refugee on welfare to the heart of No 10

Nadhim Zahawi: From a refugee on welfare to the heart of No 10

The Tory MP speaks for the first time about the devastating effect of his father's bankruptcy
Witches: A history of misogyny

Witches: A history of misogyny

The sexist abuse that haunts modern life is nothing new: women have been 'trolled' in art for 500 years
Shona Rhimes interview: Meet the most powerful woman in US television

Meet the most powerful woman in US television

Writer and producer of shows like Grey's Anatomy, Shonda Rhimes now has her own evening of primetime TV – but she’s taking it in her stride
'Before They Pass Away': Endangered communities photographed 'like Kate Moss'

Endangered communities photographed 'like Kate Moss'

Jimmy Nelson travelled the world to photograph 35 threatened tribes in an unashamedly glamorous style