Bunbury Cup betting tips: Gilgamesh has plenty going for him in big Newmarket handicap

Gilgamesh, Makzeem and Firmament feature among potential punts for Horsebetting.com experts in their Bunbury Cup betting tips from Newmarket on Saturday, 14  July. Gilgamesh looks to have the perfect profile for the ultra-competitive 7f handicap and therefore the one to be on. Makzeem is feared most now dropped back in class. Firmament has become well-treated and appeals each-way. To find out why read our in-depth 2018 Bunbury Cup betting tips preview.

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Odds
9/2
Selection
Gilgamesh
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Odds
10/1
Danger
Makzeem
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Odds
14/1
E/W
Firmament
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Gilgamesh up for the Bunbury Cup

Gilgamesh looks to have the perfect profile to land a typically fierce and wide-open renewal of the 1m Bunbury Cup on the final day of Newmarket’s July Festival on Saturday (13:40). The George Scott trained four-year-old is a progressive sort who has won five of his 10 career outings.

He also has a 57 per cent strike rate over the trip having won four of his seven starts. Gilgamesh also relishes quick ground and comes into the race in fine form following two cracking runs.

In the first of those, he beat So Beloved by a short-head in an 11-runner affair at York, but was value for more than the winning margin as he hit the front too early and idled. Gilgamesh is a hold-up performer who needs to be produced as late as possible, so taking up the running a furlong out was far from ideal.

Connections then decided to drop him back to 6f and have a crack at the valuable Wokingham Stakes at Royal Ascot, and the son of Foxwedge ran a blinder to finish a 2 3/4 lengths seventh of 28 to Bacchus. He stayed in strongly to be nearest at the finish, but was never going the pace to land a serious blow.

Gilgamesh appeared unsuited by the drop back in trip but it was still a fine effort in defeat and one which suggested there was even better to come. He now has his optimum conditions of 7f and fast ground and this is always run at a strong pace.

That will play to the strengths of Gilgamesh and with William Buick in the saddle, who is one from two on him, he looks a worthy favourite and therefore rates our main bet among Bunbury Cup betting tips.

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Makzeem a major player under Moore

There are plenty of potential dangers and Makzeem looks a major contender now dropped in class. The five-year-old, who hails from the in-form yard of local trainer Roger Charlton, is a course and distance winner.

He has also won twice and been placed twice from six starts over the trip and goes well for jockey Ryan Moore, who is two from four on him. Makzeem’s last success came at this venue on the Rowley Mile course where he quickened smartly to win going away by 3 3/4 lengths from Ice Age in an 18-runner contest off a mark of 97.

Big fields clearly suit him, and he backed that up with a solid fourth of 18 to Accidental Agent in a hot contest at Ascot off a revised rating of 103. That race has thrown-up a whole host of subsequent winners and Makzeem was giving 1lb to Accidental Agent, who landed the Group 1 Queen Anne Stakes at Royal Ascot last month.

That gives the form an extremely strong look and Makzeem is able to race in this off the same rating. Although he has failed to fire in two starts this season, those runs have been in Listed company and this is easier.

Makzeem also needed two outings last season before coming good and is now reunited with Moore, who gets a great tune out of him. So, taking everything into account, he has plenty going for him in this.

Well-treated Firmament appeals each-way

Of those at bigger odds, the well-treated Firmament looks a lively outsider and appeals as an each-way punt. The David O’Meara trained six-year-old is on a long losing run having not scored since capturing a competitive 20-runner affair at York back in August 2016 off a mark of 96. However, he has posted some really solid efforts in defeat.

They include when third to Tabarrak in a Listed contest at Ascot off an official rating of 109 and a two-length fifth of 17 to Remarkable at the same venue. Firmament also ran very well on his final start last season when a five-length eighth of 20 to Lord Glitters in the Balmoral, again at Ascot off 109.

He is now able to race off a reduced rating of 99 – his lowest in nearly two years. It makes Firmament a big player at the weights on the pick of his form, and he comes into the race having shaped much better than the bare result suggests when an 8 1/2 lengths 14th of 30 to Settle For Bay in the Royal Hunt Cup over 1m at Ascot.

After being held-up well off the pace in the centre of the track travelling strongly, he was force to switch on more than one occasion when making headway a furlong from home. In the end that resulted in his run flattening out.

Judged on that he looks well worth another crack at this shorter trip, despite only managing to make the frame three times in 11 starts over it. If the cards drop right he looks capable of outrunning his odds and hitting the frame, so that makes him our each-way play.

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