After a devastatingly close loss in the Victoria Derby this spring, trainer Danny O’Brien is hoping for a turn of luck early next year with plans to target the Australian Guineas 2015 with Bondeiger.
The promising War Pass colt improved on a seventh behind Moonovermanhattan in the Group 2 Moonee Valley Vase (2040m) on October 25, relishing a step up in distance last time out on November 1 in the Group 1 Victoria Derby (2500m) at Flemington Racecourse.
Seeing the 2500m for the first time with regular rider James Winks in the saddle, Bondeiger settled on the fence midfield out of the straight and was right up there with the eventual winner Preferment with 300m left to travel.
It was an exciting two horse battle to the line then and he only just missed out by a head in the finish, an effort locally-based trainer O’Brien believes the youngster will take lots of improvement from.
Plans are now to spell the three-year-old before a Melbourne Autumn Racing Carnival return where the major target will be the $500,000 Group 1 Australian Guineas (1600m) back at home in early March.
It’s a path O’Brien has tread before when, back in the 2010-11 racing season he prepared the Australian Guineas winning filly Shamrocker.
During the spring four years ago she rounded out her prep with a narrow second to Brazilian Pulse in the Group 1 Crown Oaks (2500m).
She then won the next year’s Australian Guineas second-up and also went on to run third in the Rosehill Guineas behind classy Kiwi colt Jimmy Choux, win the Group 1 Australian Derby (2400m) beating home the boys and finish second to Absolutely in the 2011 Australian Oaks.
Now O’Brien is hoping for the same natural improvement from Bondeiger this coming autumn in the three-year-old features, the trainer after back-to-back Australian Guineas wins too having taken out this year’s edition with his young Cox Plate hero Shamus Award.
“He (Bondeiger) will be second-up into the Australian Guineas, which is a formula which worked with both Shamrocker and Shamus Award, then we’d potentially go to Sydney from there,” O’Brien told RSN.
“Shamrocker had a similar spring to him, she ran second in the Oaks, and came back and made huge improvement winning both the Australian Guineas and the Australian Derby and I wouldn’t say those races are out of reach for him.
“He’s got that sort of improvement in him.
“He’s had a good grounding now during the spring and I’d expect him to make really good improvement during the autumn.”
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