Bunker Hunt makes plenty of appeal as Met outsider
Stable confident that 40-1 shot could find a place in the big race in Cape Town
The business world is familiar with the name Nelson Bunker Hunt, the oil company billionaire who not only tried to corner the silver market but was also a successful thoroughbred horse breeder.
So, a four-year-old named Bunker Hunt running in Saturday’s R3m Sun Met at Kenilworth is interesting and a study of the gelding’s form suggests he could find a place at his lucrative odds of 40-1.
“I’m offering 4-1 a place about Bunker — there’s been some interest in the outsiders notably Roy Had Enough from Frank Robinson’s stable,” said bookmaker Lance Michael on Monday.
Bunker Hunt is well named as his dam is named Secret Obsession and that is what Nelson Bunker Hunt, who died in 2014 aged 88, and his brothers had when it came to silver. Hunt’s fortune collapsed after he and his brothers tried to corner the world market in silver but were prevented by government intervention.
This column is not suggesting that Bunker Hunt can win the Cape’s premier race — it seems a four-cornered contest between Hawwaam, Rainbow Bridge, Vardy and Do It Again — but the son of Dynasty has three factors in his favour.
First, he has a top jockey in Bernard FaydHerbe in the saddle, he is well drawn at gate two and his second behind Hawwaam in December suggests he has peaked at the right time.
The Snaith team — also represented by dual Vodacom Durban July winner Do It Again — appear hopeful of a decent run. Interviewed on Tellytrack, Jonathan Snaith felt Bunker Hunt should be “right there”.
Fayd’Herbe certainly will not have any big-race nerves; he has seen it all before notably with champion Pocket Power, who endeared himself to punters with big-race wins throughout his career.
It is also interesting that Fayd’Herbe rode Roy Had Enough in the recent Peninsula Handicap in which the Aussie import finished fifth behind Belgarion.
It is not known whether he was offered the ride on Frank Robinson's horse, but Bunker Hunt is his mount on Saturday.
Perhaps it is no surprise that Roy Had Enough has attracted some interest in the ante-post market. The five-year-old has not finished far away in big races over the past six months — seventh behind Do It Again in the July and sixth (beaten just over two lengths) by Zillzaal in the Chris Gerber Summer Cup.
Roy Had Enough has had a number of different pilots in his last seven outings including Anton Marcus, Piere Strydom, Marco Van Rensburg and Fayd'Herbe. Sean Veale has got the call-up this time.
Lance Michael’s prediction that the favourite Hawwaam would ease from his price of 16-10 has proved correct with Mike de Kock's colt now a 2-1 shot in the ante-post market.
Vardy, winner of the L'Ormarins Queen’s Plate, is second favourite at 28-10 while Rainbow Bridge — as high as 5-1 last week — is now firm third favourite at 7-2.
Obviously, many punters believe the booking of 36-year-old world-renowned jockey Ryan Moore for Rainbow Bridge will enable the son of Ideal World to register back-to-back wins in this grade 1 event.
Could Bunter Barlow’s course record of 122,1 sec be bettered? Possibly, as fans of Hawwaam, Do It Again and Rainbow Bridge can point to some decent times over 2,000m.
Hawwaam clocked 123,3 when winning last season’s Daily News, while Do It Again and Rainbow Bridge stopped the clock at 123,1 and 123,0 in the 2019 Met.
SUN MET BETTING
7-2 Rainbow Bridge
6-1 Do It Again
12-1 One World
20-1 Head Honcho
Source: bookmaker Lance Michael
1st Race: (11) Varina (3) Elusive Woman (13) Winters Power (10) Twist And Twirl
2nd Race: (2) Dusted Donut (10) Portico (3) Fire And Ice (5) Karnallie
3rd Race: (9) Hear The Trumpet (11) Phillydelphia (4) Wings Of Honour (2) Midnight Top
4th Race: (8) In Cahoots (5) State Trooper (7) Topmast (2) Rock Of Africa
5th Race: (10) Irrevocable (1) Bockscar (2) Greasepaint (4) Tokyo Drift
6th Race: (3) Mr Greenlight (5) Marshall Foch (4) Valetorio (8) Norland
7th Race: (4) Plum Field (3) Tahitian Orana (2) Initiator (9) Hawthorn
8th Race: (1) Ideal Day (11) Ideal Wolff (5) Crazy Charlie (2) Mount Everest