The consolation race for those who didn’t make the cut for Saturday’s Bunbury Cup. A field of 19 chase a first prize of a little over £31,000 in the opening race on ITV’s Friday action. Read on for our runner by runner preview and tip for the Silver Bunbury Cup.
IN SUMMARY: Wide open, there should be a strong pace on with a number of front runners which makes Parfait plenty short enough, up twenty two pounds in the handicap following his decent run in the Jersey. He won’t get things all his own way on the front end, so it will be interesting to see how he reacts. Makzeem won well over this course and distance last time out, he will appreciate the pace being strong, as will the 2016 winner of this race Swift Approval. The vote goes to FAWAAREQ who was an excellent third first time up this season behind a pair of smart rivals, he looks like there is more improvement in the tank to come.
1 MAKZEEM – Scored over this course and distance at the end of June, but the six pound rise in the weights wasn’t quite enough for Roger Charlton’s charge to make the main contest. Versatile with regards to ground and trip, he actually broke his maiden tag over a mile and a quarter, but the drop back to this seven furlongs saw a career best last time. This should be a truly run affair, so his extra stamina should prove a huge plus in the final furlong.
2 SUZI’S CONNOISSEUR – Shows the odd glimmer of form, as when winning at Newcastle in February from a two pound higher mark. In general though he is a disappointing sort who is hard to catch right. He was runner up in this contest in 2016 from a five pound higher mark, that would give him a huge each way chance if he is on a going day.
3 BRIGLIADORO – Arrives on the back of a career best, when runner up from this career high mark at Yarmouth. That was a slightly lesser contest than here, a stiffer test at the trip will suit him well, but needs to produce another best to win this.
4 FAWAAREQ – Lightly raced, he claimed a hat-trick of wins last summer. Has run just the once so far this campaign when third at Haydock. He was a little keen in a small field there, sticking to his task well against two much higher rated rivals than he will meet here. Can run from the same mark, so looks the one to beat.
5 MOUNT TEHAN – NON RUNNER Consistent handicapper, though not an easy horse to win with. He is twelve pounds higher than his last win, which came at Beverley last August. He is a strong traveller in his races, but doesn’t always find as much as looks likely, has a place chance.
6 GUNMETAL – Scored over six furlongs at the Craven meeting on the Rowley Mile, but has run poorly since. He won over course and distance last June from a ten pound lower mark, this field will be difficult to boss in the same fashion, so looks booked for a struggle.
7 SWIFT APPROVAL – A five time winner in 2016 for Kevin Ryan, including at Listed level. He started life with Staurt Williams on a tough mark and as such has beaten just two horses home in three runs for the yard. The handicapper has relented, bringing him back down to the mark he won this contest from in 2016. Despite the poor form this year, that has to make him of interest.
8 PARFAIT – Like Gunmetal, a horse who does his best work when left alone on the front end. He bolted up over course and distance before running a huge race at Royal Ascot when fourth in the Jersey Stakes. That has pushed him up to a mark of 107, a massive twenty two pounds above the mark he won his handicap off. Sure to be popular with punters after his Group race effort, but he needs another step up to win such a competitive race where he won’t get things all his own way in front.
9 MIRACLE OF MEDINAH – Very hard horse to win with, his losing run stretches back to September 2013. He was placed from this mark at Doncaster last September and while a case can be argued for him from an each way point of view again – with conditions to suit on a track he likes – he is hard to recommend as a potential winner.
10 WAR GLORY – Both career wins have come on the all weather, with the pick of his limited turf form coming with cut in the ground. Still lightly raced and open to improvement, but will find easier opportunities than this later in the year to break his duck on the grass.
11 STAMP HILL – Best form has come with cut in the ground, form that he has not got anywhere close to replicating in three runs so far in 2017. Was a long way behind Fawaareq at Haydock in April and despite returning to his last wining mark, it isn’t enough to persuade that he can get involved even if first time cheekpieces work.
12 DUTCH UNCLE – Placed over as far as a mile and a half last season, he has been struggling to get home this year tried with front running tactics. In danger of becoming a little disappointing, this drop back in trip is an interesting experiment but there are a number of other front runners in here, this looks too tough.
13 SHADY MCCOY – Has finished fourth three times this season in similar Class 2 handicaps. He is six pounds better off with Makzeem for a length and a quarter beating the last time they met. On paper that should be enough to turn the form round, but he is fully exposed whereas Makzeem isn’t. Should run his usual honest race which will set him up for another tilt at Glorious Goodwood where he won in 2016.
14 LEFORTOVO – Both wins have come in France, but ran above himself on ground that looked potentially quicker than ideal at Doncaster last time. He sports the same cheekpieces here that helped his improved form last time, he would have an each way chance if they work again but he appears one who needs things to drop just right for him.
15 MAJESTIC MOON – Hasn’t won since September 2015, when beating Suzi’s Connoisseur at Ascot. He has generally been regressive since, runner up in a pair of Class 4 contests this season, but nothing to suggest he can get competitive pitched in this deep.
16 FOX TROTTER – On a losing run of twenty one races since making a wining debut, he is one of the most frustrating horses is training. Has more than enough ability to win from this mark on a going day, but those are few and far between. Runner up in a Class 4 handicap two runs ago is as close as he has got to getting his head back in front, considerably more is needed here.
17 RIPOLL – 0/12 on turf, he shaped better than the bare result suggests at Sandown on Saturday. He was beaten less than six lengths despite never getting a clear run to challenge. The drop down to seven furlongs is no concern and while it’s hard to see him breaking his turf maiden in such a competitive race, he may well outrun his price.
18 TOMMY G – Sole win came in a Class 4 handicap at Ayr back in May, He is only two pounds higher in the handicap, but has been turned over in considerably softer races than this since, looks a very unlikely winner.
19 FUNDING DEFICIT – Yet to win above Class 4 level, he ran dismally when last on the only occasion we have seen him in 2017. Quite rightly the wide outsider of this field.