Grantham likes Braeview Bondi

Young star reinsman Michael Grantham is looking forward keenly to driving Braeview Bondi at his Gloucester Park debut, in the 2536m Coppa Kabana Pace on Friday night, declaring that the Victorian-bred five-year-old had the ability to measure up to city racing.

Braeview Bondi, prepared at Blythewood by Michael Brennan, is favourably drawn at barrier two and Grantham is planning to have the gelding in the firing line throughout.

“His work at home suggests he can beat horses like Robbie Easton, Robb Stark ad Absolution,” Grantham said. “The 2500m will suit him; the longer the distance, the better he goes.”

Braeview Bondi has created a good impression in Western Australia, with Grantham driving him to effortless wins over 2242m at Narrogin and 2569m at Bunbury at his only two appearances in the State.

“He drew the back line in both those races and made a mid-race move (to get to the front) in both,” Grantham said. “He’s been going well, and I’ve been happy with him. His two wins have been great.”

Grantham plans to go forward at the start, but said he was not sure whether Shannon Suvaljko would be willing to surrender the early lead with Absolution, who will start from the No. 1 barrier. “However, I’d be quite happy to hold the breeze,” he said. “And there might be a little bit of pressure (from wider runners) early, and that could lead to us taking the lead.”

Absolution, trained by Debbie Padberg, has a losing sequence of 11, but is getting close to another win after fast-finishing thirds behind talented pacers Wildwest and Ana Afreet at his past two outings.

Grantham has made a flying start to the 2019-20 season and is fifth with 20 winners on the drivers’ premiership table. He has a busy night on Friday, with seven drives on the ten-event card. He is enthusiastic about the prospects of It Aint Royal and Waltzingwithsierra.

It Aint Royal, trained at Pinjarra by Ed Burnham, is an eight-year-old who has managed just one win from his past 49 starts at Bunbury 13 starts ago and boasts a winning record of just eight per cent. However, several of his recent efforts for a couple of thirds and fifths have been encouraging.

Drawing the prized No. 1 barrier in Friday night’s 2130m The Smallgoods Special Pace has boosted Grantham’s confidence.

“He’s got brilliant gate speed and I know we’ve got Pradas Ideal Dahling (barrier five) outside of him. But I think he can win. If he doesn’t win, he’ll run second or third.”

Waltzingwithsierra, trained by Katja Warwick, is ideally drawn on the inside of the back line in the Meat Me At The Post Pace over 2130m. Her effort in charging home from eighth (and last) at the bell to finish third behind Extreme Prince and Gordon over 2536m last Friday night was full of merit. She also impressed two starts before that when she finished strongly to win from Ideal Investment over 2130m.

“She’s got the draw this week and I was really happy with her run last week,” Grantham said. “She is a very good sit and kick horse. I expect to be three back on the rails and if she can get off I expect her to be a great chance.”