Michael Bell outsider Big Orange and Richard Hannon hotpot Illuminate grabbed the early headlines at Newmarket’s July Festival, with 25/1 and 7/4 victories in the two Group-level races so far, but the King of Stats has been tasked with casting a regal eye over Saturday’s Bunbury Cup.
It’s a tricky handicap to get a handle on, but after digging down into the data, His Royal Highness can reveal a nicely-priced tip based on the last decade of action at the Suffolk track.
Read on for the reveal…
Six of the past eight Bunbury Cup winners have been five years old or younger
James Bethell-trained runner Mine took this in consecutive years in 2005 and 2006, aged seven and eight, but only six-year-olds Plum Pudding and Field Of Dream have stemmed the flow of younger challengers stealing the limelight in this 7f test since.
This stat means we lose Chil The Kite, Bronze Angel, Field Of Dream, Sirius Prospect, Highland Colori and Hulu Zulu right off the bat.
Only one runner has managed to take the Bunbury Cup having won their previous race over the past decade
John Jenkins’ Little White Lie managed to hold off Mark Johnston’s Lovelace by a neck in 2008, having landed a tight victory at Epsom just five days before.
He’s the only such example of a last-time-out winner taking the Bunbury Cup in recent campaigns though, so out go in-form trio Jallota, Unforgiving Minute and Firmdecisions.
Seven winners have been drawn in Stall Nine or higher since 2005
Stall Two has produced a couple of successes over the past seven Bunbury Cup runnings, so backers of Luca Cumani’s 6/1 market leader Ayaar can feel relatively relaxed about their wagers.
Nonetheless, the five-year-old gets the heave-ho at this juncture, along with Related and Horsted Keynes.
Six of the past 10 Bunbury Cup triumphs have come from horses in the top half of the weights
Two of the last three winners carried fourth-top weight or more to victory at Newmarket, so being highly-rated by the handicapper is clearly no burden here.
That gets rid of One Word More, Highland Acclaim, Rene Mathis and Suzi’s Connoisseur, each of whom are in the bottom half of the weights.
Current odds probably won’t be a reflection of what this quartet will go off at, but double-figure priced horses have won the Bunbury Cup in eight of the past 10 years, with 14/1 SPs returned twice.
With that in mind, Windfast gets the news.ladbrokes King of Stats nod for trainer Brian Meehan and jockey Richard Hughes.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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