Georgian Bay Value For Bunbury Cup
The big betting heat of the three-day July Meeting takes place on Saturday via the historic Bunbury Cup (3.15) where punters stand a good chance of nailing a juicy-priced winner.
Indeed, with eight of the last 10 Bunbury winners having returned at 10/1 or bigger, there is scope to back several runners in the race and still make a profit – as long of course, one of the selections includes the winner! The current market suggests it will be open too, with 7/1 joint-favourites in the guise of Abseil and Horsted Keynes.
Before sifting through each of the runner’s form, however, it could pay to note some of the strongest trends covering the last 18 Bunbury winners in order of forming a manageable short-list…
17 of the 18 winners raced during the last month, where 12 ran at the Royal meeting. The six that avoided Ascot all made the top five last time, where all bar one made the top three.
17 won over 7f.
17 won a maximum of once that season – just two were victorious last time out.
17 were aged four and above.
14 made the top three during last three runs.
14 were officially rated 99 or lower. Two of the exceptions to score off a rating in the 100s came courtesy of race specialist Mine in 2005 & 2006.
Taking some of the leading trends into account points-up some interesting candidates, though interestingly, Sir Michael Stoute’s, Abseil, has yet to win over 7f and shapes as though a stiffer test would suit. One who has won over this trip, however, is Horsted Keynes, who has run exclusively over 7f in his short career, and where he is now 4-7.
Royal Ascot Form
An impressive handicap winner at Yarmouth in April, before a creditable runner-up in the Buckingham Palace Handicap at Royal Ascot, when finishing with strong finish, Horsted Keynes has been raised 3lb to a mark of 103 for that effort, but he’ll need to improve again if defying that. Also involved in the Buckingham Palace Handicap was Louis The Pious (12/1), who was runner-up, and has won since, though has a daunting 5lb penalty here from a mark of 105.
Another interesting runner to emerge from the same race was Georgian Bay (20/1), who was blocked before staying on, and was badly drawn at Ascot the time before.
This improving 4yo has done little wrong since winning in a visor three runs ago, and could go well at very big odds.
The Royal Hunt Cup is another big pointer for this race, and last month’s winner of that Royal Ascot race, Field Of Dream (10/1), will attempting to land this race for the second time having won it by 1l 12 months ago. Whether he can defy a 9lb higher mark is debatable, though one who is of interest from the same race is Luca Cumani’s, Ayaar (8/1).
Ayaar was a C&D winner here last season, and was unlucky not to be placed in the Royal Hunt Cup having been hampered before finishing well into fifth. Frankie Dettori keeps the ride and will be looking to make-up for that unfortunate run.
The Wokingham from Royal Ascot also provides some interesting runners, including the runner-up, Professor (10/1), who finished strongly over 6f that and will enjoy this step back up in trip, but has it all to do from top-weight (rated 108); Absolutely So (12/1) was beaten over 10l.
Another high in the weights from a mark of 105 is Willie Haggas’, Ertijaal (8/1), who won three on the spin, including a Listed All-Weather event in March, before flopping in the 2,000 Guineas. He is still unexposed, but needs to bounce back having been absent for 70 days and has first-time blinkers.
With 12 of the last 18 Bunbury winners having arrived via Royal Ascot, it’s no surprise to see a wealth of form from that meeting on offer, though it could be worth splitting stakes on Ayaar (9/1) and Georgian Bay (20/1). The latter especially has not done a lot wrong in his last two races and is good each-way value.