Day At The Track

The Bonds are setting a scorching pace

04:13 PM 20 Oct 2016 NZDT
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Leading trainers Greg and Skye Bond
Leading trainers Greg and Skye Bond
JMH Photography

Leading harness racing trainers Greg and Skye Bond are setting a scorching pace in the early stages of the 2016-17 season and their ten runners, all bred in New Zealand, will have a massive following at Gloucester Park on Friday night.

They have bright prospects of making a flying start by winning the second event, the $20,000 Clipsal By Schneider Pace, with Risk, a highly-promising five-year-old by Changeover.

Risk, to be driven by Ryan Warwick, faces a stern test from the outside (No. 9) in the 2130m event. But he has the class to overcome that disadvantage.

He started from the No. 9 barrier at his most recent appearance, over 2130m on September 23 when he raced in ninth and last position before dashing forward, three wide, to be fourth at the bell. He fought on grandly to finish second, just one metre behind Mynameskenny when the final quarters whizzed by in 27.8sec. and 28.3sec. His first five starts in WA have produced three wins and two seconds.

His chief rival on Friday night is likely to be stablemate Burning, who is ideally drawn at barrier one. Burning raced three back on the pegs before running home solidly to be fourth behind Chicago Bull over 2130m last Friday night. He also produced a powerful burst when second to stablemate Ima Connoisseur two starts before that.

Last-start winners Commander Chapel (Chris Lewis), Jambiani (Chris Voak) and Firebomb (Shannon Suvaljko) also will have admirers.

The Bond stable has established a commanding early lead on the WA Statewide trainers’ premiership table, with 41 winners, followed by Gary Hall sen. (17) and Ross Olivieri (12). The Bonds also head the national table, with Queensland’s Chantal Turpin in second place with 29 winners.

Warwick is in devastating form in the sulky and he leads the WA premiership table with 34 winners, well ahead of Gary Hall jun. (21), Chris Lewis (20), Nathan Turvey (18) and Michael Grantham (17).

Warwick also leads the national list, 13 winners ahead of Queensland’s Shane Graham. He boasts a tremendous winning strike rate of 40 per cent.   

Like the Bonds, Hall sen. has ten runners, all bred in New Zealand, engaged at the ten-event program on Friday night. All have sound prospects, with his best chances likely to be Beaudiene Boaz, Tact Major, King Lebron and Mach Time. 

Ken Casellas

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