Long odds give vote to Delegate

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The Independent Online

Backers with catching up to do after three days of the Royal meeting may feel they have two main options this afternoon: the relatively safe and the positively reckless, in the shape of the Coronation Stakes and Wokingham Handicap respectively. Both races, however, have produced winners at 25-1 and 16-1 within the last three years so are best approached with caution.

Backers with catching up to do after three days of the Royal meeting may feel they have two main options this afternoon: the relatively safe and the positively reckless, in the shape of the Coronation Stakes and Wokingham Handicap respectively. Both races, however, have produced winners at 25-1 and 16-1 within the last three years so are best approached with caution.

The Coronation Stakes appears the more promising, with Classic form throughout the field. Crimplene, the 1,000 Guineas winner in Ireland and Germany, meets Bluemamba and Zarkiya, first and unlucky fourth respectively in the French equivalent. And though Lahan, the English Guineas winner, is missing, that form is ably represented by Princess Ellen (2nd) and Seazun (4th).

It is very hard, though, to see Zarkiya (3.45) being beaten. Though only fourth to Bluemamba in the Poule d'Essai des Pouliches at Longchamp, she had no luck in running and cruised home in a Group Three last time. The Aga Khan, whose horses boycotted Ascot for the best part of 10 years, has had three winners already at this year's meeting, and another beckons today.

And so to the Wokingham, which poses its usual problems regarding pace, the draw, and precisely how hard some of the runners have been trying in the months leading up to the race. Three of the first four home 12 months ago, Deep Space, Halmahera and Doctor Spin, are back to try again, but all have significantly more weight to carry, and punters may instead look to David Nicholls, the acknowledged master of sprint handicappers, who saddles no fewer than five of the 30 runners.

One of these, Royal Result, is worth a saver bet on the basis of his run at Epsom last time, but another who contested the same race, DELEGATE (nap 4.20), is worth the main interest. There are two principal worries about Neville Call-aghan's runner, namely his relatively low win-rate and the form of his trainer, who has barely saddled a winner this century. In his favour, though, he ran well at Epsom, and could have gone close to winning with a more positive ride, while he has always seemed ideally suited by a fierce pace over a demanding six furlongs. At odds of around 25-1, he is the value bet this morning.

The Derby form is tested for the first time in the King Edward VII Stakes, via Hatha Anna (6th at Epsom) and Going Global (13th), and so too is the value of its French equivalent, won impressively by Holding Court. Roscius, down the field at Chantilly, would have every chance on earlier form in the Predominate Stakes, but it may be that the dark horse Trahern (2.30) is a better bet. He split St James's Palace Stakes runners Medicean and Inglenook in the Wood Ditton at Newmarket. In the supporting events, Shiva (3.05), Caustic Wit (4.55) and Three Cheers (5.30) all have solid chances.

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