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Mass Rally favoured by low draw in Wokingham Stakes

Duke Of Firenze has been the subject of a major ante-post gamble for Saturday’s Wokingham Stakes but connections will be concerned after he was handed the worst possible draw for the big sprint. Low numbers had a clear advantage on Tuesday’s straight course and only Rizeena (stall 16) managed to win from a stall higher than six.

The first four home in the Royal Hunt Cup raced in a small group on the far side with strongly-fancied runners Stirring Ballad and Prince Of Johanne forfeiting their chance by being taken across to join the larger stands side group. With showers forecast, connections of all of the high drawn horses will be monitoring the situation closely.

Sir Michael Stoute has diverted Enrol to the seven-furlong handicap but still has a second string to his bow with Ladyship, the mount of Richard Hughes. Second favourite Nocturn has drawn stall 12 so William Buick will be able to follow the pace. The progressive four-year-old has a 5lb penalty for his Newmarket victory but has shown a worrying tendency to hang left in the closing stages.

William Haggas runs Rex Imperator (drawn 21) as he bids to duplicate his success with High Standing in 2009. He looked the likely winner over seven furlongs at Doncaster last time before weakening in the closing stages and should appreciate the drop back to six.

Gabriel’s Lad (drawn 24) has been the subject of serious ante-post support after a good run behind Hamza at Newmarket last month. He was a winner here in October and has made the frame in all but one of his ten career starts.

The top weighted Boomerang Bob (stall 4) and Hitchens (stall 5) have a touch of class whilst the veterans Royal Rock (stall 3) and Palace Moon (stall 1) also appear to have been handed a decent chance.

Mass Rally just got the better of Nocturn at York and meets that horse on 3lbs better terms. Jockey Paul Mulrennan will be delighted to have drawn stall 6 and should be able to follow the pace before delivering a late challenge.

Shropshire (stall 18) is another that has been supported this week in a wide open betting race.