Trainer Danny O’Brien has been delighted with the 2014 Victoria Derby lead-up form of Bondeiger and he could not be happier with the promising stayer heading into the Group 1 event at Flemington tomorrow.
The Victoria Derby has always been the major 2014 Spring Racing Carnival goal for Bondeiger and he started his preparation in the Join The Briseis Club Maiden (1300m) at Geelong on September 12 before he recorded a maiden race win in the Market Square Shopping Handicap (1435m) at the same venue on September 26.
Bondeiger made his metropolitan racing debut with a narrow win over Royal Standing and Kapset in the Champagne Pommery Handicap (1600m) at Caulfield on October 15 and he made up good ground late to finish seventh against the pattern of the race in the Group 2 Moonee Valley Vase (2040m) last weekend.
O’Brien told Racing Ahead this morning that he is confident Bondeiger will relish the step-up to 2500 metres and believes that the War Pass colt is more than capable of being competitive when he makes his Group 1 debut in the Victoria Derby tomorrow.
“The Derby has been his aim all spring and he stayed away from the real tough three-year-old races earlier in the spring with the Derby as his peak run in mind,” O’Brien said.
“His pedigree says that he will stay and in all his races he has finished very strongly including last week when he first stepped to the mile and a quarter.
“Until they run that mile and a half you can never be sure, but he has certainly had the right grounding.”
Bondeiger has generally been settled towards the tail of the field in his five race starts to date, but O’Brien is hoping that jockey James Winks will be able to settle the three-year-old closer to the speed after he was allocated barrier three at the 2014 Victoria Derby barrier draw earlier in the week.
“He had a wide gate last week and he had to get a long way off them in the Vase, but he certainly ran very well,” O’Brien said.
“We are hoping that he can lay up a little closer there tomorrow and he has had an ideal preparation and he is ready to run very well.”
Bondeiger is currently available at 2014 Victoria Derby odds of $9.50, while Hampton Court remains a clear favourite in betting with Ladbrokes Australia.
O’Brien is chasing his first win in the Victoria Derby after missing the placings with Rockferry (fifth in 2009), Buffet (fourth in 2008) and Villian (fourth in 2007).