William Haggas’ team is in fine form, so Solar Gold looks decent value to provide the yard with another winner in the big betting race at Newmarket on Saturday, the 7f Bunbury Cup (15:30).
This four-year-old filly has only had nine starts, winning once and making the frame on six occasions.
The win came on her penultimate outing last season when in the care of Charlie Hills where she held on gamely to beat Space Talk by a head.
Solar Gold went on to round off the campaign with a fine 3 3/4 lengths third of 15 to Di Fede in a Listed contest over this trip where she only lost second close home.
That run saw the daughter of Derby winner Sea The Stars start this season off a whopping 18lb higher.
However, Solar Gold proved that her revised rating of 96 was not beyond her when an excellent three-quarters of a length second of 11 to Forever In Dreams in a Listed contest at Haydock on her first start for Newmarket handler Haggas.
She has since been a strong finishing 1 1/2 lengths third of 14 to 1000 Guineas winner Billesdon Brook in the same grade at Chelmsford when denied a clear run at the furlong marker.
The form of those races read well in the context of this 20-runner Heritage Handicap and Solar Gold is able to race in it off an unchanged mark of 96.
It gives her major claims from a handicapping perspective. She’s also due to race off 1lb higher in future assignments.
Solar Gold also looks to have been primed for this by Haggas, so makes plenty of appeal at the 10/1 on offer with Ladbrokes.
Kynren sure to go well in Bunbury Cup
The David Barron trained Kynren has been knocking on the door this season in ultra-competitive handicaps like this. A bold bid for deserved success looks assured.
This five-year-old enjoyed a tremendous 2017 when winning three of his four starts. Although he failed to get his head in front last season, he posted some cracking efforts in defeat.
They include an excellent two-length fifth of 20 in the Balmoral Handicap on Champions Day at Ascot off 99.
Kynren then looked as good as ever on seasonal reappearance when a keeping on 2 1/4 lengths second of 19 to Auxerre in the Lincoln at Doncaster.
The son of Clodovil then found only Cape Byron a neck too good in the Victoria Cup back at Ascot when staying on strongly off a mark of 98.
Given that the winner – from whom he was receiving just 5lb – is an ultra-progressive sort who has since won the Wokingham and set to take his chance in the Group 1 July Cup on this card off a rating of 113, it was a terrific effort.
Kynren got raised 3lb for that, but showed that his current rating of 101 was not beyond him when a 2 1/2 lengths fifth of 28 to Afaak in the Royal Hunt Cup at Royal Ascot last time out.
His proven form in big field handicaps is a plus, as is the fact that he is 1-1 over course a distance. At 7/1 with BetVictor, who are paying a fifth of outright odds for five places, Kynren looks a solid each-way betting proposition.
Spanish City hoping to go one better
Last year’s runner-up Spanish City, a 7/1 shot with Betfred, looks sure to make a bold bid to go one better – despite now being 5lb higher in the weights.
This Roger Varian trained six-year-old is lightly-raced for his age and has a 22 per cent strike rate having won four of his 18 starts.
He ran a stormer to finish a 1 1/4 lengths sixth of 27 to Ripp Orf in the valuable Victoria Cup at Ascot on his second start last season when not getting the clearest of runs
After being switched right at the start and held-up, Spanish City was behind a wall of horses when making a move a furlong from home.
He then flew home when eventually in the clear and was gaining hand over fist at the finish.
Spanish City looked an unlucky loser as he did in this 12 months ago when collared close home and beaten half-a-length by Burnt Sugar after arguably hitting the front too soon.
The son of Exceed And Excel comes into this year’s renewal on the back of three solid efforts and a career-high mark of 96 may well not be beyond him.
Spanish City does need the cards to drop right, but granted luck in-running looks sure to be in the thick of things in the Bunbury Cup and will be hard to keep out of the frame.
Vale Of Kent a lively outsider
In a race where a case can be made for most of the runners, Vale Of Kent is another that looks well worth considering each-way at the 14/1 on offer with Paddy Power who also pay five places.
This four-year-old, who hails from the yard of in-form trainer Mark Johnston, did well last season when kept very busy and winning four of his 18 starts.
In the last of those successes at Goodwood, Vale Of Kent scored gamely by a short head off a mark of 95.
He backed that up with a good two-length fourth of 20 to Flaming Spear off 100, and also ran well on his final start of the campaign when fourth of 16 to Raising Sand in the Challenge Cup at Ascot off the same rating.
Vale Of Kent has had just two starts this season. He ran very well in the first of those when a three-length seventh of 28 to Afaak in the Royal Hunt Cup at Royal Ascot off his current mark of 99.
That run commands the son of Kodiac plenty of respect. Given that he finished just a neck and a head behind Kynren, it makes him look overpriced in relation to that rival.
The booking of Frankie Dettori to partner Vale Of Kent for the first time also catches the eye, as he has a 20 per cent strike rate when teaming up with the yard in the last 12 months.
So, taking everything into account, Vale Of Kent looks overpriced at the odds on offer. He thus features as another possible each-way punt and completes this Bunbury Cup preview.