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Nic Ladds 19th Jun 2009 - 14:04

Two against the field in the Wokingham

The yearly cavalry charge that is the Wokingham Handicap is always an exciting betting heat and in Zidane we may unearth a winner at odds of 25/1.

James Fanshawe's hope has been a mainstay of big field handicaps the last few years and his record in such races is none too shabby.

He has won the Stewards Cup at Goodwood and a decent Listed handicap at Newmarket and big field race like this do seem to spring him to life.

A slight worry is that his best work has been done with a bit of cut in the ground but his Stewards Cup victory was on good to firm ground so he should cope fine.

He ran in this race in 2007 and ran respectably given that he was made to do far too much to be in with a chance.

Add to this Zidane has been running well in Group races over the last year and we have a 25/1 shot with a very real chance of going in, and is certainly a great each way bet.

Two horses currently share favouritism for this open race and they are High Standing and Jimmy Styles at 11/2 in the betting.

High Standing is technically ahead of the handicapper as he is due to go up a further 2lbs after this after his two wins already this term.

He loves the 6f and were he drawn low would most likely be clear favourite. The only possible problem could be if he has too much to do coming from the back with his hold up style.

Jimmy Styles meanwhile has been lightly raced due to injury so it looks likely he will continue to improve. He won well last time and comes hear a live contender although out of the two market leaders, High Standing's credentials look more solid.

Genki at odds of 10/1 is extremely interesting having run well behind Golden Jubilee favourite JJ The Jet Plane at Windsor. He has had his problems but was a serial winner in 2007 and with a good trainer/jockey combination and the fact he is just 3lbs higher for his last win, he looks teed up for a big run.

The other two near the head of the market are Evens And Odds and Markab both at odds of 14/1.

Evens And Odds looked a potentially special horse when winning at Newmarket but he disappointed when favourite as Ascot last time.

That was over a furlong further though and the race may have come too soon so it would be dangerous to rule him out.

Markab meanwhile ran well in the Victoria Cup for a long way eventually finishing sixth and a bit of rain would certainly help his chances.

A quick 6f is unlikely to play to his strengths and he will make the running but get swallowed up late on.

Outside of these every horse in the field is 20/1 or bigger which shows just how competitive this is. Three favourites have obliged in the last 10 years, and the other seven winners have all started at odds of 10/1 or bigger so it is important not to let price put you off.

Asset is one that could go well at big odds of 28/1, he has won twice this year and has a great chance based on his Golden Jubilee third here in 2007.

A big weight, potentially poor draw are possible negatives, although his Godolphin yard may finally be coming back to form which would make him dangerous.

Beaver Patrol and Knot In Wood are two staples in these kind of races, and these two came second and fourth respectively in this last year.

The former has a good looking draw and if on song should run a big race, while Knot in Wood doesn't have such a good draw but Freddie Tylicki's claim means he is only 1lb higher than last year - both have each way claims at 25/1.

One other to consider at a huge 33/1 is Osiris Way who won three times last season and should be spot on for this after his run behind High Standing at Goodwood last time.

He has a career high mark to tackle but is a decent price to run his race and could reward each way backers.

Everyone has their opinion and there a host of other entries that a case could be made for nearly all the other runners to a certain extent.

Zidane does look a huge price at 25/1considering he loves these kind of races and has some cracking form and a great jockey in William Buick who won this race in 2007 so knows exactly what is required.

Genki at 10/1 is the other selection as he looks like he has been brought along perfectly for this and to not be disgraced behind a Group 1 performer mean this lightly raced five-year-old could put in a bold show.

Zidane - 25/1
Genki - 10/1

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