NELSON ‘Bunker’ Hunt was an American oil company executive described as a ‘hard-baked eccentric’ with some strange habits, and often compared to the fictional oil baron JR Ewing of ‘Dallas’ fame.
Bunker Hunt (35/4), the aptly named son of Dynasty, is a four-year-old gelding who “has his moments” and doesn’t always behave, but his depth of talent was finally revealed when he whipped a top-class field in Sunday’s Gr2 Drill Hall Stakes at Greyville, his first attempt over 1400m.
Generally thought of as a miler-stayer, multiple Graded-placed but not always reliable, Bunker Hunt has never lacked stable confidence and trainer Justin Snaith has always spoken highly of him.
Snaith said: “This was a very strong field and Kasimir ran a great race over 1400m for a sprinter today, he was heads-up and heads-down with Vardy, and it took a freak result, or shall I say a freak effort a from Bunker Hunt to beat him!”
Visibly excited at both quality performances, Snaith elaborated: “Bunker Hunt has always been that type of horse. He’s highly strung and has his moments. But we’ve always known he has the ability to gallop with the best of them if he puts his mind to it!”
Snaith hinted that Bunker Hunt would be one of his early Vodacom Durban July hopes, along with Do It Again, and said: “I think the betting for the July might change.”
On the way Bunker Hunt won against these formidable rivals – under an easy ride, not urged with the whip and not near extended – he is the first runner to stake a strong ‘July’ claim this season. In the words of jockey Keagan de Melo, “the potential is there, it just depends if he behaves or not.”
Bred by Varsfontein Stud, Bunker Hunt was a R700,000 buy for Sabine Plattner at the 2017 National Yearling Sale. He is 4 from 12, with R633,000 in net stake earnings.
(Photo by Candiese Lenferna).