Bunbury Cup Preview
Quite boringly this looks a repeat of the AHA Cup 11 days ago. Material Man is the deserved favourite after his strong win in that event but not everything looks like it'll be in his favour here. Not the most exciting of Bunbury Cups but we'll try and find the winner.
Zarantz - Has had more trainers than Jelena Dokic with the owners clearly thinking they have a far superior horse than they actually do. Did his best racing under Justin Warwick and the decision to shift him from there appears a poor one (he was with Simon Miller in between that and Lindsey Smith before hand). Run was fair in the AHA Cup, but hard to see him winning here with the 59kgs.
Tonto - Was the run which I thought had the most merit from the AHA with Jarrad Noske being unable to let this son of Onemorenomore at them til half way down the Bunbury straight. The barrier draw cruels his hopes as I don't think he is a horse who can work early to find a spot and still be competitive at the business end. And I don't think he is capable of coming from last. Is clearly flying, but would need a Jarrad Noske special.
Material Man - According to a lot of twitter pundits anything around the $2 mark is a put in and take out job. While he can definitely win, I have to disagree. Where exactly do those people see him being in the run? His last effort he pushed forward from an inside gate after beginning well and was not really put under any pressure to hand up. From barrier 9 here with more speed in the event (Eleven Seconds was not in the AHA), he may be forced to drop back and out sprint them here. Sitting wide with the extra weight in what will be a truly run Bunbury Cup would be a recipe for disaster. The horse with the most scope, but I'd be very wary of taking anything too thin.
Dark Alert - If he reproduces his first up run he goes very close. Underrated galloper (ran 5th in last years Perth Cup) who the Durrant & Miller combo appear to have extremely fit very early in his campaign. The obvious worry is if the first up run has taken a lot of the edge off him and he has lost a bit of that sprint. I don't think Pike will make another feature race error at Bunbury (had to have one last dig...), so expect to see him on the scene late looking for any chink in Material Mans armour.
Bedamijo - Looks well past it.
Eleven Seconds - The interesting runner here and may start to take up the 'Kirov Boy' role in these feature staying races. Last win over the 1800m was huge when working early to find the outside of the leader before rallying late to beat the in form Point. The key to this horse is getting the right mid race breather before being stoked up again about 1000m out and having them all off the bit on straightening. Is an unknown in this class but the form lines through him look strong enough to win this.
Falcon Crest - Ridden a dream by William Pike last start but was uncompetitive late. He has made the obvious switch to Dark Alert and it is hard to see him turning his form around unless there was an issue the general public don't know about. Being such an honest and integrity reliant sport I am sure this is highly unlikely.
Hakuna Matata - Not up to these.
My Magic Miss - Was $151 early with most corporates (max bets of $1.70 were more than likely the most allowed) in the AHA when a strong second to Material Man. Meets that galloper 2kgs better (for a half length) and will probably take up a more forward spot in running here. Should be fitter third up, is locally trained and is probably the one who will again start over the odds. The big question is if that was the very best he could give last start and if Ross Price can have him at that same level again.
Shinta Mani - Always found the top liners a length or three too sharp and think that will be no different here. Has won at the track but this is probably a stretch.
Tarquinn Shadow - The unlucky runner in the AHA when finding trouble in the straight. From barrier 8 he will need to work early to find a forward spot and he simply won't be good enough late.
Eleven Seconds should lead this relatively comfortably with Bedamijo and Zarantz pushing forward with My Magic Miss and Tarquinn Shadow not far from them. The big question mark on this race is what will the tactics be on Material Man. From the gate you'd like to think a firm decision is made to either snag him into the running line or go and try sit on the outside of Eleven Seconds. Hedging your bets could see him sitting him three deep in a strongly run 2200m. He was off the bit with 600m to go last start when chasing Rosmartini, but showed he has another string to his bow by grinding late to hold off the fast finishers. I get the feeling he may struggle to hold off the finishers here if being posted on the outside of the stronger Eleven Seconds or having to work hard early. If he goes back I think he wins. If he goes forward I think they run over him late.
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