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Trainer Danny O’Brien is set to follow the same autumn format with three-year-old colt Bondeiger that saw him win the Group 1 Australian Guineas (1600m) with Shamus Award last year as well as Shamrocker in 2011.
O’Brien netted the Guineas with both horses at their respective second-up starts and will aim to do the same with Bondeiger, who will resume in the Group 3 CS Hayes Stakes (1400m) at Flemington on February 21.
Shamus Award placed in the Group 1 CF Orr Stakes (1400m) before winning the Guineas while Shamrocker finished outside the placings in the Group 3 Vanity (1400m) on route to her win.
The lightly raced Bondeiger has won two of his six career starts and placed in a further three. He made a big jump up in class after winning a Benchmark 78 over 1600 metres at Caulfield in October, finishing outside the first three for the first time in the Group 2 Moonee Valley Vase (2040m).
He was back to last after jumping from the second widest gate and still found himself at the end of the field at the 500 metre mark. However he wound up well, finishing on the heels of the placegetters.
Bondeiger scored the biggest win of his career just one week later in the Group 1 Victoria Derby (2500m), finishing just a head behind winner Preferment in second place. After jumping from barrier one, the gelding got beyond midfield on the fence out of the straight before ranging up with the winner at the 300 metre mark and in a strong battle just missed on the line.
The gelding was spelled following the runner-up finish and is still enjoying time off at O’Brien’s Barwon Heads property.
“We’re really pleased with him,” O’Brien told TVN.
“He’s still down at the farm, he’s strengthened up, he’s done really well since the spring.”
Shamrocker ran second to Brazilian Pulse in the Group 1 Crown Oaks (2500m) before returning in the autumn to win the Australian Guineas, which hints at good things to come for Bondeiger in the 2015 Australian Guineas.
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