Bond's back in Inter Dom mode
by Adam Hamilton
THE Inter Dominion rules have been addressed and top WA trainer Greg Bond has set his sights on Melbourne again.
Bond was set to abort his plans with Galactic Star before the Inter Dominion Event Committee (IDEC) agreed to scrap a rule requiring all “visiting” horses to be in Melbourne five days ahead of the opening round of heats.
Harness Racing Victoria, Harness Racing NSW and Harness Racing NZ successfully applied to for the rule to be deleted.
“Today’s decision further highlights the willingness of our industry’s administrators to listen to participants in order to achieve industry best outcomes,” HRV chairman Dale Monteith said.
Importantly, it solves what would have been an ongoing issue for the Auckland series next year and Sydney in 2020.
Bond echoed the sentiments of the vast majority of trainers when he applauded the rule change.
“Common sense has prevailed and we can all get on with things now,” he said.
In Bond’s case, Galactic Star and, possibly Vampiro, were booked on a flight from Perth to Melbourne the Wednesday before the opening round of heats, which would’ve seen them ineligible.
That’s because Bond wanted to give at least one of his possible contenders their final lead-up race at Gloucester Park this Friday night and the following Wednesday was the next available flight after that.
The rule would also have significantly impacted the growing Kiwi contingent being set for the Inter Dominion trotting and pacing series.
“Galactic Star is now a definite and we will decide on Vampiro in the next day or so,” Bond said. “It’s the Inter Dominion and I’m super keen to be part of it, but I wouldn’t have been if we needed to be there on the Monday.”
Bond’s focus will be split between the Inter Dominion and WA’s string of major 4YO races in coming weeks.
He and wife, Skye, could have as many as five runners in Group 1 races like the McInerney Ford and Golden Nugget over the next few weeks.
On form, hype and potential, ex-Kiwi pacer Ana Malak is leading the way, especially after he thrashed a moderate field in slick time at Pinjarra on debut for the Bonds yesterday (Monday).
“I’ve got a feeling when push comes to shove, Ryan (Warwick, stable driver) will pick Ana Malak as his drive,” Bond said. “I just wish we’d been able to get another couple of lead-up runs into him, but he missed some racing with a quarter crack. It’s fine now.”
Bond’s other major players include Mighty Conqueror, who looked fantastic winning at Gloucester Park last Friday night, and Bettor Aim, who made it six wins from nine starts with an easy Pinjarra victory on Monday.
But it’s Ana Malak who has most people talking.
“I toyed with backing him up this Friday, but I won’t. He’ll go straight into the McInerney on Friday week,” Bond said.