Bunbury Cup Betting

Summer brings out the best in British flat racing, with each of the major racecourses staging multi-day festivals. Sandwiched neatly between the Royal Ascot meeting in June and the Glorious Goodwood fixture in late July is the annual July Festival at Newmarket. This extravaganza extends over a three-day weekend early in the month, offering all of the fashion and racing indulgences East Englanders crave.

The main highlight of the July Festival is the Group 1 July Cup, which is run on the last day of the meeting, known as Darley July Cup Day. The day begins with the ever-popular Breakfast in the Paddocks at 6:45am. Other activities include Cricket on the Severals, a Charity Horse Show, and the Jockey Club Rooms Tour & Tea.

Joining the July Cup on the day’s race card is a much anticipated handicap event, the £60,000 Bunbury Cup. It was established in 1986 to honour the memory of Sir Charles Bunbury (1740–1821), Senior Steward of the Jockey Club and creator of both the Classics held at Newmarket—the 1,000 Guineas Stakes and the 2,000 Guineas Stakes.

Also referred to as a Heritage Handicap, this £60,000 sprint covers a distance of seven furlongs on the straight turf of the famed July Course. It is open to Thoroughbreds aged three years and upwards and typically attracts a field of 18-20 runners.

For more than two decades, the high street bookmaker ladbrokes served as the sole sponsor of the Bunbury Cup. In 2010, however, the online gaming specialist 32red signed a four-year contract to back the race and changed the name to the 32red Trophy. When the new title failed to meet with public approval, a decision was taken to revert to the more popular name. From 2011 onward, the event shall be known as the 32Red Bunbury Cup.

The first horse that managed to gain multiple victories in the Bunbury Cup was En Attendant, trained by Ben Hanbury and ridden by Lester Piggott. The chestnut gelding won at age five in 1993, paying odds of 14/1, and then returned the following year to a mirror-like performance, again winning at 14/1 at age six.

In 2002, the race ended in a dead heat, but one of the winners, Capricho, was later disqualified and placed last for failing to weigh in at the correct weight. That gave the undisputed victory to four-year-old Mine, the 5/1 favourite trained by James Bethell and ridden by Keiren Fallon. Three years later, Mine made an unexpected return to the winner’s enclosure, paying 16/1 with Richard Quinn in the saddle. Then came the incredible in 2006 as the eight-year-old bay stallion finished first again, this time delivering at 10/1 with Michael Kinane aboard.

Upsets are not at all unusual in this explosive multi-entrant event. Since 1986, fully 17 editions have been won by sprinters at double-digit odds. By contrast, favourites, co-favourites and joint favourites have combined for just six wins. The highest paying winner of all was seven-year-old Material Witness in 2004. The William Muir trained bay gelding was ridden by Martin Dwyer to win by a shoulder and deliver at 25/1. The shortest odds paid were 4/1, which happened twice—first with Patavellian in 2003 and then with St Moritz in 2010.

Four-year-olds have had the most success at the Bunbury Cup over the years, taking thirteen victories over time. No three-year-old has prevailed since Ho Leng in 1998, and only two five-year-olds have won in that period. Tayseer in 2000 and Plum Pudding in 2009 were both six when they got their wins here.

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Comment on this event
Anthony Piller  at 18/01/2014 22:00:00

The first horse to gain multiple victories in the The Bunbury Cup Was Mummys Pleasure in 1983 and 1984 ridden by Lester Piggott and apprentice Tyrone Williams. He was trained by Patrick Haslam at Newmarket. Perhaps you can put the record straight.

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