Cultivator Ready To Boss Bumper

Newbury racecourse stages the DBS Spring Sales Bumper on Saturday (4.20) where a number of runners will be looking to win this valuable event on their racecourse debut.

Punters may therefore find themselves in the strange position of eyeing up runners yet to have seen a racetrack, but a glance at the race’s brief eight-year history shows that six winners all had race experience. It’s a fact that needs bearing in mind when glancing through Saturday’s field, where Evan Williams has several interesting runners.

Experience Counts
Williams is responsible for the only winner in Saturday’s line-up, Nansaroy, a 5yo who carries a penalty for winning his bumper debut at Ffos Las in December (2m, soft). There wasn’t anything special about that 1/2l victory, however, and giving weight away won’t be easy, though his fellow 5yo stablemate, Mr Kit Cat, also showed promise on his debut when staying on into third (beaten only 2l) at Ludlow (2m, good to soft).

King To Rule Again?
Alan King’s previous two winners of this race both had racecourse experience, which could be a good pointer for his 4yo, The Unit, who made late headway into third when beaten 6l at Kempton last month (2m, soft). It’s possible further might suit in future, but that experience won’t go amiss on Saturday. King also has the 4yo debutant, Criq Rock, who is half-brother to four winners.

Harry Fry’s 5yo, General Ginger, is another with experience having raced three times, the last two of which were placed efforts at Wincanton last year (2m, good to soft). He sets a fair benchmark, but remains vulnerable to those more unexposed.

More For Four?
It’s also worth noting that 4yo’s enjoyed more success in this race during the first eight years, winning on seven occasions, suggesting Paul Nicholls’ unraced 4yo, Bill And Barn, should not be taken lightly. He is also related to a bumper winner and may be ready first time up for this valuable pot.

Nicky Henderson also has a couple of interesting unraced 4yo’s in Cultivator and Magic Bullet, where preference is for the former, on whom Barry Geraghty has been penciled in to ride.

A full brother to a 2m winning hurdler, Cultivator looks bred for the job and could prove popular in the betting.

A mention also goes to Dan Skelton’s 4yo, Charlie’s Oscar, who could represent value, as he too is a full brother to a bumper winner, and comes from a yard in excellent form this week.

The final unraced 4yo worth watching in the market is Oliver Sherwood’s, McKenzie’s Friend, who is out of a dam that was a useful 2m hurdles winner.

Recommended Bets
With 4yo’s holding the edge over their elders in this race to date, there could be some merit in siding with an unexposed newcomer such as Cultivator, who has a good profile and could be ready first time up.