Trainer Richard Fahey is planning a big raid on the £1,000 bet365 Bunbury Cup in a bid to win this prestigious Heritage Handicap for the fourth time in six years at Newmarket’s Adnams July Course on Saturday, 9th July.
The Malton handler is the single biggest contributor to a huge entry of 94 horses for this year’s renewal of the historic seven furlong event - no less than seven inmates of his Musley Bank yard have been engaged.
The Fahey contingent is led by a real Moët & Chandon July Festival specialist in Heaven’s Guest, winner of this race in 15, third in it last year and winner of the three-year-old sprint handicap at this fixture in 13. He bounced back from a string of below-par efforts to chase home Jallota at York on his most recent outing.
Fahey is also represented by Rene Mathis who took his Adnams July Course record to three wins from five starts when seeing off rivals to land the bet365 Bunbury Cup’s £74,700 first prize 12 months ago.
Fahey proved that he does not restrict himself to winning big handicaps at the Adnams July Course when lifting the Betfred Cambridgeshire with Third Time Lucky at Newmarket’s other venue, the Rowley Mile, last September.
And Third Time Lucky is entered in the bet365 Bunbury Cup even though it is run over two furlongs shorter than the Betfred Cambridgeshire. The rest of Fahey’s big race team is Farlow, Withernsea, George Bowen and Growl.
Other notable names among the initial entry are last year’s runner-up, One Word More; the Victoria Cup winner, Flash Fire; last season’s Group 1 Juddmonte Middle Park Stakes third, Steady Pace; the Group 2 Topkapi Trophy hero of 14, Glory Awaits; and Buckstay, who last July found just one too good for him in the consolation event for this race, the Silver Bunbury.
The bet365 Bunbury Cup has a maximum field size of runners. Horses that are declared to run but are eliminated at the declaration stage will have the chance to run instead in Friday, 8th July’s £30,000 Racing UK HD Handicap Stakes (Silver Bunbury Cup).
Richard Fahey, trainer of Heaven’s Guest, Rene Mathis, Third Time Lucky, Farlow, Withernsea, George Bowen and Growl, said:
“I hope to have a number of runners in the bet365 Bunbury Cup again this year.”
“I used to have a terrible record at the Moët & Chandon July Festival so I made a conscious effort to target the meeting and since then I’ve been quite lucky there. The ground at the July Course is always well prepared – it’s a beautiful racing surface.”
“Heaven’s Guest is getting older and has not been working so well of late, but he ran a good, solid race at York last time, which was a nice surprise.”
“He seems to be four or five pounds better at the July Course than anywhere else and he likes these big field handicaps. The rhythm of the race suits him and he appreciates the uphill finish.”
“Rene Mathis is in good order and was a shade unlucky on his latest run at Chester. He’s another one who loves the July Course – it’s a real specialists track – but he would need a lifetime best to win it again.”
“I would love to run Withernsea as I’ve always felt that he’s got a big race like this in him, but he needs soft ground to be seen at his best.”
“Third Time Lucky would also only run on slow ground. He could find seven furlongs on the sharp side but he has been showing a bit more speed at home of late – I don’t know where he’s got it from.”
Pat Cooney, bet365 spokesman, said:
“It looks a wide open race but we've made last year's winner, Rene Mathis, our 14/1 favourite to successfully defend his crown.”
“The race is always a popular event with punters and this year’s event will be no different. With plenty of the entries set to race at Royal Ascot next week, we are expecting another busy market.”
Opening betting show from sponsors bet365:
14 Rene Mathis (GER), 16 Flash Fire (IRE), Buckstay (IRE), Heaven's Guest (IRE), Third Time Lucky (IRE), Mutawathea (GB), Peril (GB), Can't Change It (IRE), Remarkable (GB), Chief Whip (USA), 20 Jallota (GB), Kickboxer (IRE), Suzi's Connoisseur (GB), Squats (IRE), Librisa Breeze (GB), Yattwee (USA), Hold Tight (GB), Strong Steps (GB), Monteverdi (FR), Fighting Temeraire (IRE), 25 Kelinni (IRE), Naadirr (IRE), Absolutely So (IRE), Mitchum Swagger (GB), Fanciful Angel (IRE), Steady Pace (GB), Glen Moss (IRE), Golden Steps (FR), Glory Awaits (IRE), Jailawi (IRE), One Word More (IRE), Sir Robert Cheval (GB), Hillbilly Boy (IRE), Certificate (GB), Mujassam (GB), George Bowen (IRE), Ghalib (IRE), Boomerang Bob (IRE), Fox Trotter (IRE), Lincoln (IRE), Scrutineer (IRE), Mullionheir (GB), Highland Colori (IRE), Twin Sails (GB), Jack's Revenge (IRE), Qeyaadah (IRE), Turbine (IRE), Tawdheef (IRE), Sharaakah (IRE), Taurean Star (IRE), Udontdodou (GB), 33 bar.
Notes to Editors
The 94 entries for the bet365 Bunbury Cup run over seven furlongs at Newmarket’s Adnams July Course on Saturday, 9th July, are as follows:
Jallota (GB), Kelinni (IRE), Naadirr (IRE), Flash Fire (IRE), Buckstay (IRE), Absolutely So (IRE), Mitchum Swagger (GB), Fanciful Angel (IRE), Burnt Sugar (IRE), Heaven's Guest (IRE), Bossy Guest (IRE), Steady Pace (GB), Third Time Lucky (IRE), Rene Mathis (GER), Dinkum Diamond (IRE), Mutawathea (GB), Mister Universe (GB), Tanzeel (IRE), Emell (GB), Farlow (IRE), Accession (IRE), Glorious Empire (IRE), Majestic Moon (IRE), Glen Moss (IRE), B Fifty Two (IRE), Kickboxer (IRE), Golden Steps (FR), Glory Awaits (IRE), Flaming Spear (IRE), Jailawi (IRE), One Word More (IRE), Boomshackerlacker (IRE), Perfect Pasture (GB), Suzi's Connoisseur (GB), Squats (IRE), Sir Robert Cheval (GB), Peril (GB), Hillbilly Boy (IRE), Librisa Breeze (GB), Lat Hawill (IRE), Sirius Prospect (USA), Withernsea (IRE), Certificate (GB), Mujassam (GB), George Bowen (IRE), Ghalib (IRE), Hold Tight (GB), Can't Change It (IRE), Boomerang Bob (IRE), Fox Trotter (IRE), Lincoln (IRE), Scrutineer (IRE), Mullionheir (GB), Muir Lodge (GB), Brazos (IRE), Lord of The Rock (IRE), Room Key (GB), Highland Colori (IRE), Enlace (GB), Swift Approval (IRE), Yattwee (USA), Solar Flair (GB), The Warrior (IRE), Outer Space (GB), Fieldsman (USA), Sinfonietta (FR), Remarkable (GB), Riflescope (IRE), Chief Whip (USA), Strong Steps (GB), Twin Sails (GB), George Cinq (GB), Czech It Out (IRE), Supersta (GB), Jack's Revenge (IRE), Plucky Dip (GB), Growl (GB), Alqubbah (IRE), King's Pavilion (IRE), Whitman (GB), Qeyaadah (IRE), Turbine (IRE), Tawdheef (IRE), Welliesinthewater (IRE), Misterioso (IRE), Sharaakah (IRE), Monteverdi (FR), Taurean Star (IRE), Fighting Temeraire (IRE), Udontdodou (GB), Ice Royal (IRE), Captain Bob (IRE), Gambit (GB), Jimenez (IRE). (94)