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Thursday 9 July 2015

3:10 - Newmmarket, Saturday 11th July - Bunbury Cup Outsiders

The Bunbury Cup, run over 7 furlongs on the July Course  at 15:15 Saturday 11th at Newmarket, is a specialists’ event that often attracts the same horses year-after-year. In fact, the last two winners, Heaven’s Guest (16/1) and Field Of Dream (25/1) are among those who return for another crack at the £120,000 in guaranteed prize money. Neither should be dismissed out of hand, but for our selections this week we’ve turned to a couple of runners who like to race on, or close to the pace, which is often a desirable characteristic on the July Course.

Rene Mathis (25/1) has recorded both his career wins on turf on the July Course, including over course and distance last May and although well beaten in the Wokingham Stakes, over 6 furlongs, at Ascot three weeks ago he ran equally dismally in the Buckingham Palace Stakes, over 7 furlongs, at the same meeting last year. He’d previously only given best in the last half a furlong or so when fifth, beaten 3½ lengths, in a similar race at York and, back at Newmarket, he appears to have an obvious chance off the same handicap mark.

Sirius Prospect (33/1) has been campaigned at or around a mile so far this season, but all his career victories on turf have come at 7 furlongs or shorter and he races off a handicap mark just 3lb higher than when last winning a handicap on turf, at York two years ago. He was ridden very aggressively in the Royal Hunt Cup, over a mile, at Ascot three weeks ago, but weakened with a furlong to run and eventually finished out with the washing. His regular jockey Robert Winston remains absent through injury but, if his new partner Hayley Turner adopts the same positive tactics, he could go well over this shorter distance.

With the possible exception of the aforementioned Heaven’s Guest, who looks a shade high in the weights and could probably do with a drop of rain in any case, it’s difficult to enthuse about anything else that falls into the “outsider” category. So, for this week, our three against the field are Rene Mathis (25/1 with Bet365, Sky Bet, Paddy Power and Ladbrokes), Sirius Prospect (33/1 with Bet365, Sky Bet, Ladbrokes and William Hill) and Heaven’s Guest (16/1 with Bet365, Sky Bet and William Hill), with preference very much for the first named. Good luck!