Bright a leading light for Bunbury Cup

Newmarket selections Saturday 10th July

The final day of the July meeting on Newmarket’s July Course. The feature race of the week, the July Cup looks a cracking contest, but there is also the big handicap of the week, the Bunbury Cup as well. I have suggestions for both. Our three selections (that actually took part) on Friday were all placed for the each-way bets – King of Clubs (advised 11/2), Global Storm (Sp 11/2) and Arthurian Fable (SP 7/1).

Newmarket 3.50: Shine so Bright & Fundamental

The market heavily favours the unexposed 3yo’s that have made it into the Bunbury Cup – I favour the least fancied of the three market leaders, but an older horse dropping in grade looks good value.

SHINE SO BRIGHT is a horse who has been plying his trade in group races for most of his career, and he did win a classy Group 2 back in 2019 when defeating the super filly Laurens over this 7f distance at York. However he has run twice in handicaps previously.

The first was earlier that season when making all to win the Free Handicap at Newmarket from a mark of 106. The second came on the All Weather when making his seasonal return at Lingfield, where he was just touched off from just a 1lb lower mark than today’s 101. So he is weighted to go well.

However the biggest factor in his favour is that he is virtually the only natural pacesetter in the field. To this end having Silvestre de Sousa on board, who loves making the pace could be the perfect set up on a course that is largely downhill for the first 5f. As such I think he is overpriced.

FUNDAMENTAL’s chances are more obvious given that he is technically 6lbs well in after his fifth in a Group 3 at Royal Ascot last time. He is another dropping in grade, as he had previously been second on the Rowley Mile course here in May in a listed contest. He gives the impression though that a big field handicap might suit as he has tended to hit a flat spot before running on and a more even gallop that this race usually provides might bring out the best in him.

Newmarket 4.25: Oxted & Starman

We don’t normally get nineteen runners in a Group 1 but we have a tremendous field of sprinters lining up here, including a large number of 3yo’s. However I fancy two of the elder horses might hold the upper hand.

OXTED won this race last season and I think he basically needs either a really stiff 5f or a sharp 6f such as here. That theory came good when he was a winner for this column in the Kings Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot, storming through from off the pace over 5f. However he should be able to lie up better over this extra furlong and he should be well drawn, near but not right on the far rail, which has often been the best place to be in a sprint this week.

STARMAN had to miss Royal Ascot due to soft ground, but there should not be enough rain at Newmarket today to diminish his chances. He coped well enough with good-to-soft to win impressively at York on his return in May and he certainly won’t need to cope with the bottomless conditions he endured on Champions Day when well beaten. This will only be his sixth career start, but he was impressive on quick ground last year, and his York win at Group 2 level confirmed he was a sprinter from the highest class.

Recommended bets:

1pt each-way – Shine so Bright – 3.50 Newmarket – 22/1 William Hill (1/5 odds 1st 6)

1pt each-way – Fundamental – 3.50 Newmarket – 6/1 Paddy Power (1/5 odds 1st 6)

1pt each-way – Oxted – 4.25 Newmarket – 6/1 Betfred (1/5 odds 1st 5)

1pt win – Starman – 4.25 Newmarket – 4/1 general

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