Tony’s Trends – Trends Winner Last Week – Let’s Make it a Double – The Bunbury Cup, Newmarket 9 July 2022

Well, our fine run of returns has continued in style, with the main selection, Get Shirty, backed with best odds from Bet 365, his SP was a very decent 10/1. This one stood out in terms of meeting all of the Trends and I was not worried he would not see out the finish, as he had won over further.

In my write up, I referenced his win in the Copper Horse Stakes at Royal Ascot. Although he was 6lb higher for this race, the way he won at Ascot made me hopeful that the extra weight was not going to stop him repeating the performance.

He was prominent throughout, so his jockey could keep it simple and did not have traffic problems, while other runners did, leading to a lot of ‘should haves’ suggested by those who backed a different horse.

Trainer David O’Meara suggested afterwards that the Ebor would be a potential target for Get Shirty and the way he won makes that a distinct possibility. The race was a prime example of why you should never think an 11/8 shot like Gaassee in a big field Handicap is value. They may win, but the odds are not in your favour long term.

My original joint pick, Trawlerman, was a non-runner, but I’ll keep an eye on him for the future. His late withdrawal left me with a choice between the other two qualifiers and the one I put up, Something Enticing, ran poorly finishing well down the field.

I mentioned that one of the reasons I went with her over Inchicore, the other Trends qualifier, was that I felt he would be tapped for toe and would need further. I was correct that he would find this sharp, but in reality, he was staying on best of all at the finish and should be in your notebook when he steps up in trip again.


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Do you also follow the notebook horses I mention in the Trends column? If so, you may recall that Raasel, who won for Trends readers a few weeks back, followed up at 3/1. I mentioned that he was worth following, as his running style makes people crab the form a little – he only ever does just enough.

In an interview immediately after the race, an owner stated he was really impressed, at his ability to overcome the odds and win a race he was not ideally suited to. He could well win again, but the bookies will not be giving 9/1 in the future!

The Bunbury Cup, Saturday 9 July 2022 at 15.50

Our Trends race this week is the Bunbury Cup, another big-field Handicap, which is run over 1 mile, 4 furlongs. As always, we’ll look back to 1988 where possible and review the previous winners to find our selections.

Just to note, Capricho, was first past the post in 2002, but was later disqualified, meaning we will review a total of 35 previous winners.


The previous 35 winners were aged 3 years (x 3, but none since Ho Leng in 1998), 4 years (x 14), 5 years (x 8), 6 years (x 7), 7 years (x 2, although Mine was a multiple winner and accounts for one of those) and 8 years (x 1, it’s Mine yet again, who won the race three times and placed in another run).

While overall the stats favour 4-year-olds, more recently (over the past 15 years) it has been equally shared between those aged 4 years (x 6), 5 years (x 5) and 6 years (x 4).


All previous winners carried between 07-07 and 09-12 (En Attend in 1994). Over the last 20 renewals it has paid to concentrate on those carrying 08-08 and 09-10, with 13 of the last 15 winners carrying at least 09-00.


16 of the 35 previous winners were sent off at odds of 10/1, or less. Given the superiority of the runners at the head of the market, it is surprising therefore that just 6 favourites have won, the last being Golden Steps in 2016. There has been only one winner returned at odds of greater than 16/1 in the last 25 years.

All previous winners since 2000, who were allotted an OR, were rated at least 86 but not more than 109.The last 15 winners were rated between 92 and 109.All previous winners since 2000 achieved an RPR of at least 95, but not more than 113.Of the last 16 horses who won the race,15 achieved a minimum RPR of at least 101.The majority had a run in a Class 2 (x 23), or Class 3 (x 7) Handicap as their final prep run, three more ran at Royal Ascot in a Group 3 race.11 previous winners used the Royal Hunt Cup as their prep, with a further two running in that race before running at Newcastle.A further five ran in an alternative Handicap there as their prep, with four using the Wokingham as a prep and a further two using the Buckingham Palace.All previous winners had a run within 41 days of the race.Winners have come from a wide variety of stalls, indicating that pace is more important than the draw.

In short, the Trends indicate we are looking for a horse aged from four years to six years, who is somewhere near the head of the market and ran at Royal Ascot.

Firstly, I’m going to discount any of those outside of the preferred age group:

Accidental AgentBless HimI’m A GamblerSamburu

Next, I’m going to eliminate any horse who is 25/1, or more, at this point as their price is too high (although do bear in mind that a late plunge could change that):

Cruyff TurnPersuasionTommy De VitoMaster Zoffany

Now, I’ll remove any remaining horse that has been allotted less than 08-08:

II BanditoLord Rapscallion

Lastly, I shall discount any of the remaining runners who have not met the OR and RPR requirements:

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I now have a total of six Trends qualifiers to review, which I’ll look at in race card order.

Jumby was really impressive last year when winning here over 7 furlongs. Soumillon has been booked to do the steering and if he can eke another bit of improvement out of the horse, he is likely to perform well yet again. My main fear is that he may be carrying too much weight at this point, but let’s see if the Frenchman’s magic works.

Rhoscolyn ran in the Buckingham Palace Stakes and has been the subject of money all week. Consequently, his odds have been trimmed from 25/1 down to 10/1 (at the time of writing). He did well at Ascot and will try to stay on from the back through tiring horses and overcoming a poor draw. For this race, he might find the going a little quick for his liking, but he is now nicely weighted on the balance of his form and is interesting nonetheless.

Vafortino did us a massive favour in May when we had him at 16/1 to win the Victoria Cup. He had a troubled passage last time out and was another whose chance was partly undone by the draw at Royal Ascot. He was hampered over 2 furlongs out and ended up four lengths down at the line. Without that interference I’m certain he would have finished much closer.

Montassib was the Favourite for the Buckingham Palace and gets a 5lb pull with Vafortino, but he benefitted last time from the draw. I’m never a fan of putting up a Favourite in a big field Handicap and given the poor strike rate the yard has in this race, I’m happy to pass him over.

The Attorney ran at Newcastle last time out, but did not run at Ascot before that. He has been allotted less than 09-00 and it’s worth noting that a number of the jockeys who have ridden him this season have chosen other mounts for this race. He looks like an improver, but has not been thrown in against the best and may be found wanting for this challenge, so I’ll also give him a miss.

Ropey Guest outran his odds of 40/1 last time out and has been remarkably consistent. However, he is currently priced at 20/1, has achieved an RPR of 100 and will carry 08-08, all of which are borderline from a Trends perspective. If there was just one of these that was close, I might consider him, but with three against him, two of which will not change, I’ll have to pass him over as well. Of the outsiders he may just do best of all, but I am trying to narrow down the winner, so he is not a selection this week.

With just three horses left, I’m going to go for the value and put up Vafortino (whose yard had a winner recently) and Rhoscolyn, who has been campaigned in Listed and Group races, but showed his ability last time out in a Class 2 Handicap. Both will be staying on at the death and with five or six places available, we should be in with a chance.

As always, make sure you use to get the best deals and Oddschecker to find the best odds and places. We need to use all the angles available to us to try and beat the bookies!

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Author: Ronald Butler