Looking to capitalise on Shamus Award’s successful path towards last year’s Group 1 Australian Guineas (1600m), trainer Danny O’Brien has brought back Bondeiger one week earlier than originally planned.
The three-year-old colt was set to resume his autumn campaign in the Group 3 CS Hayes Stakes (1400m) at Flemington on February 21 but will instead resume this Saturday in the Group 2 Autumn Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield as he vies for a spot in the 2015 Australian Guineas field on March 7.
This is a similar path to what stable mate Shamus Award took last autumn after opening his campaign in the Group 1 CF Orr Stakes (1400m) at the equivalent meeting before progressing towards the Guineas three weeks later, winning the $500,000 race one length ahead of Criterion.
“We were always tossing up between the Autumn Stakes and the C.S. Hayes Stakes,” O’Brien told TVN.
“Shamus Award ran on that day last year in the Orr and then went three weeks second up into the Guineas.
“We’re just going to do the same thing with Bondeiger. The horse has come up really well. He looks great and has matured into a bigger, stronger colt.
“We’re looking to see if he can take that next step to the better three-year-olds over a mile.”
Bondeiger placed in four of his five starts last spring. The three-year-old colt won his maiden at Geelong in September before scoring a Benchmark 78 over 1600m the following month.
He stepped up to black-type racing for the first time just ten days later in the Group 2 Moonee Valley Vase (2040m) but didn’t figure in the race, finishing four lengths behind winner Moonovermanhattan in seventh place.
The colt backed up in the Group 1 Victoria Derby (2500m) just two days later and performed much better, finishing runner-up to Preferment. After finding himself beyond midfield on the fence out of the straight, Bondeiger ranged up with the winner at the 300 metre mark and in a strong battle just missed on the line by a head.
The 2015 Autumn Stakes is one of eight Group races running at Caulfield on Saturday, marking the first official day of the autumn racing carnival. Nominations will be released soon so keep checking back at Races.com.au.
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