Bond has "royal" chance in his team at Winton

by Jonny Turner

Lyndon Bond’s team at Winton on Saturday are ready to meet their challenges head-on.

Bond lines up six runners on the nine-race card at Central Southland Raceway, including several key winning threats.

Mamma Mia is one of them, she looks the horse to beat in race 5 given the quality of horses she’s raced in the past.

Barrier 7 means the race will hardly be straight forward for the mare and driver Sarah O’Reilly, but Bond thinks they are up to the task.

“Her work has been good, I thought she would go real good last start at Winton,” the trainer said.

“Nothing moved, but she was running on real good.”

“It is a smaller field, I don’t like to be over bullish but I think she is a royal chance.”

Swift Dream has next start written all over him when he stormed home for third in his last start at Winton.

Bond was thrilled with the horse’s recent effort in a subsequent workout at Wyndham.

“Things have got to go right with a maiden trotter, but I think he is a good chance.”

“He should be able to settle off them and be finishing it off pretty good with the speed he has got.”

“He is a lovely old horse and he is really coming to it.”

Step It Up A Notch was in the mood to run in his last start win at Ascot Park last weekend.

Though he is hardly perfectly placed in barrier 8, Bond is hopeful the head-strong pacer can deliver another crushing blow in race 8.

“I wouldn’t be backing him up if I didn’t think he can do it again.”

“He drew the outside at Invercargill and won, Sam (Ottley) might have to slot him somewhere over the 2400m this week.”

“But he can work at both ends.”

“He has always been a nice horse, but we have had a few issues.”

“He was cutting his air off with his tongue.”

“I was having a beer with Tony Stratford and he suggested we try a new bit and it has been instrumental in getting him right.”

Tweedledee is another of the Bond team facing a challenge at Winton on Saturday, with the trotter the 20m backmarker in race 7.

Bond thinks the horse is edging back towards showing his best form.

“He seems good the old fella and his work has been good.”

“He got knocked over in his last start, Sarah (O’Reilly) was quite happy with him and said he was going to be running on nicely.”

“It has taken a couple of runs to get him right, but he has been working really nice.”

Bond also starts Andover The Keys and Contessa’s Pride at Winton on Saturday.

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