Tote Inside Track – Darren Bunyan -18th June 2016

Darren Bunyan At Royal Ascot
Darren in the build up to his first runner at Royal Ascot this week

Hope you’ve all had a great week.

As ever Royal Ascot produced another stunning week of racing despite the unusually wet weather. The meeting began on Tuesday with Soft ground for the first time since 1971 and there were many who were unsuited by the underfoot conditions. At least the starting stalls could be used this time! Back in 1971 the ground was too soft to move them around the course and so they weren’t used at all during that year’s meeting.

Mister Trader At Royal Ascot

Mister Trader quite rightly went to post as favourite for The Windsor Castle Stakes on Tuesday. Earlier in the day his chances had been well advertised by Caravaggio’s impressive performance in winning The Coventry Stakes. On the day Mister Trader didn’t produce his form but most importantly he returned safe and sound. After a comprehensive post-race analysis we could only conclude that it was one of those runs we should put a line through. It’s something that happens to so many horses from time to time. He certainly wasn’t alone on that this week. When he goes on to his next win the disappointment of the day will be a distant memory. I’ve no doubt he is a very good horse and am looking forward to getting him back to winning ways during the coming months. We’ll take our time and get that right rather than rushing him forward too quickly. We have an exciting programme of races ahead for him.

I was particularly delighted to see Mister Trader’s new owner Mr Abdullah Saeed Al Naboodah visit the winner’s enclosure with his other runner in the race. A fantastic and well deserved winning end to the day for him and I’ll very much look forward to seeing him visit the winner’s enclosure with Mister Trader during the coming months.

Despite our horse’s below par run, it was a great experience to take a leading contender to the meeting and we’ll have even greater determination (if that’s possible!) at the yearling sales in September to find new stars who can put a win on the board for us at Royal Ascot next year. Many thanks to all who sent us messages of support this week. Much appreciated.

Saturday At Royal Ascot

With so many great performances during the week it’s difficult to whittle it down to a short list of highlights. In the 2yo ranks I was most impressed by Caravaggio (Coventry) and Lady Aurelia (Queen Mary). Outside of that I thought Order of St George showed real class to win the Gold Cup and The Gurkha looked a bit unlucky in finishing second in the St James’s Palace Stakes. If I was a punter I’d want to stay on the right side of these four going forward.

This weekend we have the final day of Royal Ascot on Saturday which looks like being another exciting day of racing. In the opening Chesham Stakes for 2yo’s the once raced Churchill (5/4) could be one to follow going forward. He shaped with promise when staying on 3rd on his debut at the Curragh and looked like the extra furlong on Saturday will be very much in his favour. The bare form might not be as good as many of the others in the field but he looked like a horse who will progress significantly from his first effort.

The annual 6 furlong cavalry charge which is the Wokingham Stakes is yet again fiercely competitive and the entire field is covered by only 9lb’s on official ratings. This is a tighter range than we’ve seen in recent years and a case could be made for the majority of the runners. It’s most likely a mad race in which to put forward selections, but for a bit of fun to finish off the week I’ve got the old reliable pin out to identify a couple worth considering each way! Most bookies are offering 1/4 the odds for 5 places, and one or two are offering 6 places so it could pay to shop around.

I think Shared Equity represents a decent each way chance at odds available up to 25/1. In the absence of a compelling consensus on which side of the draw will be favoured I’ll also choose one on the other side in case a strong bias emerges for either side on the day.  With this in mind the 2nd each way selection will be Ninjago, drawn on the near side, and generally available at 16/1.

Curragh Thoroughbred Trail

We were delighted to hear the news this week that our yard will feature in this year’s Curragh Thoroughbred Trail during Champions Weekend in September.  I’m expecting it to be a busy and interesting time of year for us. I’ll very much look forward to putting on a great tour for all our guests and I hope some of our blog readers will make it along to the day and come say hello.

Details are at the following link and I’m told it best to book early since places are limited:


Curragh New Rathbride Stables
Our yard on the Curragh – New Rathbride Stables

In the meantime you can follow progress on our website:

Best of Luck and have a great weekend!

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