Past Winners » Golden Steps
I am backing Golden Steps in the Bunbury Cup. I think that he is over-priced at 14/1.
This all looks very daunting at first glance, 63 entries, but there can only be a maximum of 20 runners, and most of the top 20 are likely to stand their ground, which makes it a race that is very assessable. There is a good chance also that Librisa Breeze, who ran so well at Royal Ascot and who is second favourite, but who needs 11 horses above him in the handicap to come out, will not get to run.
Buckstay was also on my shortlist after his big run at Ascot, but he is 7/1 favourite, and that is short enough.
Golden Steps is the value of the race for me. It looks like Marco Botti has been training him for this race.
The Footstepsinthesand gelding was a progressive sprinter two years ago, and he proved that he could operate in these big-field handicaps when he won the consolation race for the Stewards’ Cup at Goodwood in August last year. He hasn’t won since, and, in truth, he was a disappointing horse at the end of last season. But he shaped well in a valuable race in Qatar in February, when he had the Karl Burke-trained Rivellino behind him, and he ran a really nice race at Chester last time on his third run back in Britain this season.
Stepping up to seven furlongs for the first time that day, he did really well from his wide draw to finish third behind Sound Advice and Gabrial’s Kaka. He was slowly away and he raced in rear, which was not ideal in a race that was run at just a moderate pace and which therefore favourited the prominent racers. Even so, he finished off his race well, getting up for third place, a half a length in front of Rene Mathis, and Gabrial’s Kaka added ballast to the form of that race when he won a good handicap at Ayr three weeks ago off a 1lb higher mark.
That Chester race was over seven and a half furlongs, Golden Steps proved that he could stay that trip, which augurs well for Saturday’s race, probably a fast-run race over seven furlongs. Also, his six-furlong pace should allow him travel well through his race.
That run should have brought him on with this race in mind, he goes well on all types of ground, and it looks like Frankie Dettori – who rode him to win that Stewards’ Cup consolation race and who has ridden him just twice since – is set to ride him again. All looks set for a big run, and I can see him going off at a fair bit shorter than the 14/1 at which we can back him this morning.
GOLDEN STEPS WON (ADV 14/1, SP 7/1)