Australian Guineas hopeful Bondeiger will kick off his Autumn Carnival campaign in the Group 2 $200,000 Autumn Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on Saturday.
The Danny O’Brien trained Bondeiger is one of nineteen three year olds nominated for the Autumn Stakes which also includes three from the stable of David Hayes and Tom Dabernig.
The Lindsay Park Team are holding onto a skinny Melbourne trainer’s premiership lead and has entered Firehouse Rose, Hong Kong Captain and Petrology for the three year old contest on the weekend.
Last start winners Java, Profit Share and Sarajevo will all be taking a step up class in the Autumn Stakes.
Java who is prepared by Lee and Anthony Freedman, continued on his winning way in scoring his fourth win on the trot beating Petrology and Affirmation in the Group 3 $150,000 Manfred Stakes (1300m) at Sandown on January 26.
The Trio are set to clash again in the Autumn Stakes.
The Darren Weir trained Profit Share was back in the winner’s stall when he beat his stablemate Stratum Star in a 1300m three year old at Sandown last Saturday while Sarajevo will also stepping up drastically in class winning a 1200m BenchMark 72 at Rosehill on January 31.
O’Brien sent Bondeiger to the paddock after running second to Preferment in the Group 1 $1.5m AAMI Victoria Derby (2500m) at Flemington during last year’s Melbourne Spring Carnival and is looking for some further improvement in the Autumn.
“We’re looking to see if he can take that next step to the better three-year-olds over a mile (1600m),” O’Brien told Racing Network.
O’Brien is looking for back to back wins in the Group 1 $500,000 Australian Guineas (1600m) at Flemington on March 7 after collecting the winner’s trophy with Shamus Award last Autumn and wants to follow the same time line as he did with his Cox Plate winner.
“We were always tossing up between the Autumn Stakes and the C.S. Hayes Stakes (Flemington, February 21).”
“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.”
Weir hasn’t confirmed a start in the Australian Guineas for Profit Share but if he backs up this week and puts in another good effort, the Group 1 Australian Guineas for the three year olds could be back on the agenda.
“He probably won’t run in the (Australian) Guineas. We’ll go down the VOBIS path and chase the money,” Weir said.