Day At The Track

Ima Connoisseur on target for Golden Nugget

09:57 AM 05 Aug 2015 NZST
Comment (...) Tweet Share Email Print
Ima Connoisseur - Being aimed long term at the Golden Nugget
Ima Connoisseur - Being aimed long term at the Golden Nugget

Ima Connoisseur continues to improve in leaps and bounds and Greg Bond, who trains the three-year-old in partnership with his wife Skye, predicts that the gelding will end a losing sequence of six by outpacing his rivals in the 2130m Gate Bar And Bistro Pathway Pace over 2130m at the harness racing meeting at Gloucester Park on Friday night.

"He's working great and from barrier two he should be leading and I'd be surprised if anything will be able to get over him," Bond said.

The Bonds, who landed a treble with Kinda Black, Baileys Gold and Ohoka Squire at Gloucester Park on Tuesday evening, also will be represented in the Pathway Pace by Holy Grail, the only other three-year-old in the race.

Colin Brown will drive Ima Connoisseur and Chris Lewis will handle Holy Grail, who will start from barrier five on the front line.

Holy Grail, whose past four starts have produced two wins and two seconds, has bright prospects of finishing second to Ima Connoisseur.

Ima Connoisseur impressed last Friday night when he started from barrier eight and raced three wide early before working hard in the breeze outside Blissfull Boy and eventually getting to the front on the home turn and fighting on gamely to finish a 2m second to brilliant colt Beaudiene Boaz over 1730m.

Greg Bond is more than pleased with the improvement shown by Ima Connoisseur in recent months.

"I've put the foot down and have been racing him more consistently," he explained.

"He wasn't that well gaited and we just decided to take the approach of racing him weekly where possible and even sometimes twice weekly."

"He was a slow learner and wasn't smooth in his gait."

"Now he's becoming a lot more of a racehorse, with the extra experience, and hopefully he'll head for the Golden Nugget."

"His second to Beaudiene Boaz last week was meritorious."

"I know that Beaudiene Boaz had him covered, but he didn't dog it and fought it out right to the line."

"And two starts before that he ran second to Waylade at Pinjarra, and that's a sign that he's really come on as a horse."

"We'll give him a little break shortly and then bring him back for the four-year-old feature races."

Bond also is confident that Condrieu (Wanneroo Club Pace) and Phoenix Warrior (Garrards Horse And Hound Pace) will prove hard to beat.

Both pacers will be driven by Colin Brown.

Phoenix Warrior is not well drawn at barrier eight on the front line in the 2536m event, but Bond said though he considered the four-year-old was slightly disappointing when fourth behind My Mate Stride as a 2/1 on favourite, he expected him to do better this week.

"The race wasn't run to suit, and driven positively this week I expect him to perform well."

"He's a horse I have a lot of time for."

His chief rival looms as Spectactular, who will be having his first start for five months.

Trained by Gary Hall sen., Spectactular has won once and been placed twice from his first four starts in WA after arriving from New Zealand.

Clint Hall said that Spectacular had had a lot of issues.

" I think that we've got him over his foot problems now, but he could be vulnerable over 2536m first-up. However, he's a class animal."

Condrieu bounced back to his best form last Friday night when he began speedily from barrier five, set a brisk pace and sprinted over the final 800m in 57.2sec. to win easily from Soho Lennon at a 1.55.5 rate over 2130m.

He faces a sterner test this week from the No. 9 barrier.

"There's probably a bit too much speed inside him this week," Bond said.

"I'll leave it up to Colin (Brown) to assess the situation when the gate goes."

"Over the 2536m he'll probably work into the race a bit later on."

Ken Casellas

Comment (...) Tweet Share Email Print

Read More News About...

Stallion Name

Next article: