Trainer Danny O’Brien has won two of the past four Group 1 Australian Guineas (1600m), first with Shamrocker in 2011 before Shamus Award earlier this year, and is looking to earn his third in the 2015 edition on March 7 with Bondeiger.
The 2015 Australian Guineas at Flemington Racecourse will be the three-year-old colt’s second run during the autumn after the Group 3 CS Hayes Stakes (1200m) first up on February 21.
“He’s at Barwon Heads and he’s in great shape getting ready for the autumn,” O’Brien told Sky Racing.
“He’ll run first-up in the CS Hayes Stakes and then second-up in the Australian Guineas.”
Running the Australian Guineas second-up during the autumn preparation worked for both Shamus Award and Shamrocker and O’Brien is keen to continue the system.
We’ve done it twice in the last four years,” O’Brien said.
“Shamrocker had run second in the VRC Oaks (in the spring) and second-up she won the Australian Guineas, and earlier this year Shamus Award won it second-up coming off his Cox Plate win in the spring.”
The lightly raced Bondeiger has had just six career starts, finishing in the first three in all but one – the Group 2 Moonee Valley Vase (2040m) on October 25. He was last seen in the Group 1 Victoria Derby (2500m) at Flemington on November 1, in which the colt finished runner-up to Preferment. It was a strong battle between the pair but Bondeiger just missed on the line to finish a head away.
The colt has come through the Victoria Derby very well, which O’Brien is hopeful is a good sign of things to come during the autumn.
“Sometimes the horses can get a bit of a stitch out of that Derby but he pulled up really well. So fingers crossed, he should have improvement to come still,” O’Brien said.
“He won over a mile in the spring and although it was a maiden he also won at 1400 metres.
“So he’s sharp enough to run a good race in the Australian Guineas.”
Following the CS Hayes Stakes and Australian Guineas, Bondeiger will travel to Sydney for the remainder of the autumn carnival where the Group 1 Rosehill Guineas (2000m) and Group 1 Australian Derby (2400m) are potential starts for the promising colt.