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Bunbury Cup and Stakes to held at Ascot for second consecutive year

Headshot of Justin Fris
Justin FrisSouth Western Times
Kalgoorlie-Boulder Racing Club, Jockey Lucy Warwick on horse Royal Rada after winning the $140,000 Tabtouch Hannans Handicap (1400m) in 2015.
Camera IconKalgoorlie-Boulder Racing Club, Jockey Lucy Warwick on horse Royal Rada after winning the $140,000 Tabtouch Hannans Handicap (1400m) in 2015. Credit: Louise White/Kalgoorlie Miner

South West punters will again be required to drive up to Ascot on Saturday in a bid to support Bunbury’s showpiece racing event.

Because of COVID-19 and the Bunbury Turf Club’s track redevelopment project, both the Furphy Bunbury Cup and Bunbury Stakes have not been held in Bunbury since 2020.

Racing will return to the BTC at the end of this year.

Thankfully for the racing industry, social distancing and crowd limit protocols will not be a factor in 2023, which will allow for a full capacity on-course crowd.

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In a reduced $150,000 Furphy Bunbury Cup (2100m) field of 10 runners, Myalup’s Lucy Warwick will carry South West hopes of a memorable triumph, when she pilots Stephen Miller-trained No Apology from barrier two.

Saturday’s feature will be the fourth start of the six-year-old’s current preparation — and he enters having run a third-up second to Capel stayer Marocchino in the recent Detonator Stakes (1800m).

Casino Seventeen, from the Grant and Alana Williams stable, is also likely to garner plenty of pre-race attention.

Aside from an ideal draw in barrier five, the five-year-old will have Chris Parnham aboard carrying only 55kg and has won two of his past three starts.

In the Bunbury Stakes (1400m), Ross Price-trained Gunmetal Grey will jump from barrier two. A victory for the Capel-based stable would be tremendously fitting, given the power of work he does as a trainer.

Several scratchings — Eeyore Wayz, Man Crush, Mini Winnie and Multinational — were announced on Wednesday morning, which reduced the field down to 11.

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