A good day for readers on Saturday with HE OR SHE winning very impressively at Ascot from a seemingly impossible position. He looks to be on his way to much better races.
We now take a look at the races from Bunbury, Western Australia, on their feature Bunbury Cup program. There are 10 races scheduled and the club will be hoping for some good weather after their big day was severely affected by constant rain last year. Below we take a look at two races, including the $110,000 feature.
Bunbury Race 1 – 3yo+ Maiden (1675m)
A 1675m provincial maiden doesn’t sound like the most enticing race, but a horse we have been following this preparation looks a big chance to break through. That horse is 9 CHAMPAGNELIFESTYLE.
There isn’t a huge amount of pace here with 2 ENDLESS SPIN, 3 INDEPENDENT MAK and 14 TRUIE likely to push forward, along with 5 FRIARPAK likely to settle a bit closer than his most recent starts from a better barrier.
In addition to the better barrier today, 5 FRIARPAK also steps up to a suitable distance for the first time this preparation. He and 12 DANEBRESA both ran home strongly over the 1410m last time and both should run out the 1675m strongly. 5 FRIARPAK should utilise the good barrier and settle in the first six in running and if he can roll along from the turn he can give the backmarkers something to catch. 12 DANEBRESA dropped back from a 1450m trial to debut over the 1410m, so there is no doubt he will be better suited running over the 1675m. From the wide barrier he will have to drop back again, but expect to see him running on strongly.
6 SASSO’S CIRCUS has been running on ok over shorter distances and would need to find a couple of lengths to win this. He does gain the services of Paul Harvey today, though, which is never a negative.
7 TRUE TYCOON’s last start result on paper looks absolutely terrible, getting beaten six lengths in a maiden. But it was a strange run that day, he was tailed off last at the turn and was a bit green in the straight. When he put his mind on the job in the straight he actually sprinted quite well and finished midfield. The step up to 1675m is a plus, as is the addition of blinkers. He had accepted for a much harder race last Saturday but this race looks far more appropriate.
Having said that, surely this is the day for blackbooker 9 CHAMPAGNELIFESTYLE. He has finished like a train at his first two starts in the state and the 1675m looks perfect. He has drawn a good barrier for the first time and this should allow Smith to settle him a bit closer than the last two occasions. From there, if he can display his turn of foot again, he is very hard to beat.
We have been on 9 CHAMPAGNELIFESTYLE at his first two starts in the state and we can’t jump off now given both of those runs were very good. Smith should be able to get him to sit a bit closer today. He looks very hard to hold out. 7 TRUE TYCOON can improve with the blinkers on, while both 12 DANABRESA and 5 FRIARPACK will enjoy the step up to the 1675m.
Bunbury Race 9 – Listed Bunbury Cup (2200m)
The Bunbury Cup is one of WA’s most famous provincial cups and the honour roll boasts some of the great staying names in WA racing history. Well known winners include Rogan Josh (1998), who went on the win the Melbourne Cup the following year, and Lords Ransom (2008 and 2012) either side of his Perth Cup in 2010. However perhaps one of the more famous wins in recent times was in 2010 when Whipsaw rounded up the whole field and pulled away with an easy win at only his sixth career start, having won his maiden just 10 days earlier.
The field for this running of the Cup is very even, with all bar two horses being on the minimum of 54.5kg.
The top weight 1 MOONLIGHT BAY was somewhat of a surprise winner last start and is 2kg worse off against most of the field. In her 44 career starts, she has never won two races in a row and we can’t see that changing. 6 CYBER CRIME led that day and fought on bravely to hold on for second behind 1 MOONLIGHT BAY. He has drawn a terrible barrier, though, and will need an awful amount of luck.
2 POP CULTURE was flat last start, but that could have been slightly expected given she was second up from a dominant win over 1800m fresh off a six week break. That first up win was sensational and she beat most of this field easing down and running away. She has drawn a slightly awkward barrier but if she can find cover and settle around midfield, we think she is the one to beat.
Adam Durrant has a four pronged attack in the race with 10 KEEPERS COURT, 13 MARDEN, 15 SUMMAH’S TOUCH and 9 JIM ’N’ JIM. With the exception of 9 JIM’N’JIM, the other three all ran in the AHA Handicap last start. While none were brilliant, all put in solid performances with this as a grand final in mind. When the Durrant stable set their stayers for a race they almost always run very well. 15 SUMMAH’S TOUCH looks the best placed from the trio that ran in the AHA Handicap, while 9 JIM’N’JIM’s last win was breathtaking, although in a much lower grade. If she can reproduce that run, she could storm home over the top.
12 MALAIKA ran on strongly last start and should be able to settle closer in the run. On her day she can produce a massive finish, and if this is one of those days, look out.
A very competitive edition of the Bunbury Cup especially with most of the field on the minimum. 2 POP CULTURE was a bit flat last start but can improve to her best form here. 15 SUMMAH’S TOUCH looks the Durrant stable’s top hope, but any of his quartet can win. 12 MALAIKA is the massive knockout and can run a race at big odds.
Bunbury Race 1 – CHAMPAGNELIFESTYLE (each way if available, otherwise win)
Bunbury Race 9 – POP CULTURE and MALAIKA (both each way)