The Wokingham Stakes is the penultimate race on the final day of the Royal Ascot meeting held in June each year. Following on from the day’s feature race, the excitement is far from over as this race is one of the most popular events of the week.
It is a handicap race with a typically large field of up to 30 runners, and appeals strongly to bettors as even the favourite is often priced in or close to double figures.
The Wokingham Stakes is a sprint race run on the straight on the final day of Royal Ascot. It is open to horses aged from three years and is a handicap race run over a distance of 1,207 metres or 6 furlongs.
The total prize purse stands at £175,000 and the winning team receive £108,937.50 of that.
The history of the Wokingham Stakes
The Wokingham Stakes has been an integral part of the Royal Ascot line-up since 1813, where the Duke of York’s horse Pointers won the inaugural running.
Until 1874 the race was divided into two or three divisions or classes. It has remained largely unchanged since becoming a single race.
Only four horses have won the Wokingham Stakes twice despite its long history, with the most recent being Selhurstpark Flyer with two consecutive victories in 1997 and 1998. Prior to this Concerto, Portland Bay and Wokingham also recorded two consecutive wins in 1932–33, 1908–09 and 1881–82 respectively.
There have been seven jockeys and four trainers who have each managed to steal victory on three separate occasions. Jockeys Fred Archer, Otto Madden, Harry Wragg, Jack Sirett, Lester Piggott, Willie Carson and Johnny Murtagh have all had three winners, as have trainers Joe Cannon, Richard Marsh, Charles Morton and Paul Cole.
Choosing the winner of the Wokingham Stakes is perhaps one of the most difficult selections in all of Royal Ascot week. 2015’s winner Interception was priced at 10/1, making six double-priced winners in 10 races, including 2012’s surprise winner Dandy Boy at 33/1.
The two wins for jockey Johnny Murtagh both came in recent years so he could be one to watch. Lightly weighted horses are infrequent winners so the top end of the handicap is often a good place to start looking.
Maintaining the excitement of Day Five at Royal Ascot, the Wokingham Stakes is another big event of the race meeting, attracting a huge crowd of spectators all hoping to win big.