Bunker Hunt with Keagan de Melo aboard. Photo: Candiese Lenferna
Bunker Hunt with Keagan de Melo aboard. Photo: Candiese Lenferna

Bunker Hunt sounds early warning ahead of SA's Champion Season

By Andrew Harrison Time of article published Jun 8, 2020

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BUNKER Hunt gave early notice that he will be a force to be reckoned with in the next three months of South Africa’s Champion Season with a stunning display in the Grade 2 Independent On Saturday Drill Hall Stakes at Hollywoodbets Greyville today.

L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate winner Vardy was a short-priced favourite and looked to have most in his favour, but Bunker Hunt put the race to bed in a matter of strides as Keagan de Melo let him loose at the top of the straight.

Vardy challenged pacemaker Kasimir all the way up the straight but was just not able to get to terms, but the pair were no match for Bunker Hunt who swept past up their inside to win as he liked.

Given his previous form, this was a distance that looked short of his best but he showed plenty of class in victory. Much was expected of Bunker Hunt last winter but he met with many hiccups and this could be his year.

His name is sure to be among the first nominations for the Vodacom Durban July that are due tomorrow.

Trained by Justin Snaith, Bunker Hunt races in the familiar silks of Sabine Plattner and was bred at Varsfontein Stud.

There’s not much of her but what she lacks in stature she makes up for in courage. The diminutive but feisty Mississippi Burning scored back-to-back Fillies Guineas victories with a last gasp triumph in the Grade 2 World Sports Betting Fillies Guineas, the favourite edging home ahead of rank outsider Mary O with Labyrinth some way back in third.

The race was hardly run to suit as Lady Legend set a modest pace but Craig Zackey had his mount in the box seat, one off the fence as the pace quickened up approaching the final turn.

Hunting daylight, Zackey angled his mount up the inside fence and gradually wore down Mary O who was game in defeat.

Trained by Adam Marcus, Mississippi Burning races in the familiar silks of Mario Ferreira and was bred at Mike and Tanya McHardy’s Rathmor Stud.

Star filly Beach Beauty was nigh unbeatable at Hollywoodbets Greyville and her aptly named son, Wild Coast, scored a narrow, upset victory in the Grade 2 World Sports Betting Guineas at the same venue. In a nail-biting finish, Donovan Dillon got the colt home in the shadow of the post, edging out pacemaker Padre Pio with Cape Derby winner Golden Ducat putting a storming late effort for third, a showing that augurs well for the Grade1 Dily News 2000.

Wild Coast was the outsider of Justin Snaith’s pair with Sachdev starting favourite but Wild Coast will not be denied his place in the sun. Captain Demonami was an early casualty as he refused to jump and it was Craig Zackey, hunting back-to-back Guineas triumphs, who set the pace on Padre Pio. As in the filly’s equivalent, the field was barely out of an early canter and Frosted Gold the next casualty. He was forced to check and switch off the heels of the pack, losing valuable ground.

Dillon had Wild Coast settled midfield and once in the straight set out after Padre Pio who had pinched a lead and was showing no signs of stopping. Sachdev loomed dangerous for a few strides but didn’t go on with his effort as Wild Coast gradually ate into Padre Pio’s lead and nailed him on the line.

Trained by Justin Snaith, Wild Coast is owned by Anyaasec (Pty) Ltd and Miss Caroline Rupert and was bred at the Rupert’s Drakenstein Stud.


IOL Sport

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