The Wokingham Stakes is a flat race open to thoroughbreds aged three years or older. It is run over a distance of six furlongs and the event is now contested on the final day of the five-day Royal Ascot meeting.
The event is named after Wokingham, a market town several miles to the west of Ascot. It was established in 1813, and the inaugural running was won by Pointers, owned by the Duke of York. For many years the Wokingham Stakes was divided into two or three separate classes, but it became a single race in 1874.
The Wokingham Stakes is one of, if not the most popular betting race of all 30 Royal Ascot races. This is mainly because it is run on the Saturday and is a handicap sprint with a field of up to 30 runners.
Run over six furlongs, this race really is a punters dream and one which requires a long hard study of the Royal Ascot form book. Given the size of the field, the odds on the field tend to be very appealing with even the favourite often close on a double figure price.
Draw advantage can play a vital role also and with its short six furlong trip, there is often tight finishes in this race, including a dead heat in 2003.
Maarek and trainer David Nagle are hoping for soft ground in the Wokingham Stakes. He won a competitive 24-runner affair at Newmarket on 1,000 Guineas day and the Royal Ascot dash could be the last handicap Maarek contests while he is in his present form.
Palace Moon, Pearl Ice and Alben Star are also worthy contenders, with Palace Moon victorious on three of his five starts, including when close to his very best last time out in a handicap at Newbury.