Ken Casellas | Photo: Gloucester Park Harness Racing
A couple of years ago Baskerville trainer Ryan Bell was quite pessimistic about the prospects of Hillview Bondi developing into a racing proposition, but now the four-year-old gelding is competing with considerable zest.
Hillview Bondi chalked up his ninth win from 36 starts when he scored a runaway victory in the 1730m Allwood Stud Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night.
“About 18 months ago I didn’t think he was going to make it,” said Bell after Kyle Symington had driven Hillview Bondi, the $1.40 favourite, to a three-length win over $41 outsider Adda Tarantella, rating a smart 1.54.1.
“He is getting better with every preparation. He is tough and running his own races seems to be his go. He is easy to gear up; he has no head check, no boots, nothing, just hopples and a bridle.
“However, I put a hood on him tonight because he is immature. This was the third time he has started from barrier one. Each time before from barrier one he got lost, so that is why we put the blinkers on him to smarten him up behind the gate.
“I wasn’t surprised that he was crossed at the start (by $1 chance Sheza Bromac) because he begins better from out wide when he can concentrate with horses around him.”
Symington gave Hillview Bondi a chance to become settled before he dashed him forward to take the lead about 600m after the start. Hillview then bowled along freely in front and won very easily.
Hillview Bondi is owned by several members of the Bendotti family, well known potato farmers from Pemberton who have enjoyed plenty of success in the past with Hillview Lightning (55 starts for 19 wins, 13 placings and $106,890) and Hillview Storm (114 starts for 14 wins, 23 placings and $88,325).
Hillview Bondi is by the American stallion Somebeachsomewhere and is out of the Safely Kept mare Maid For Life, the dam of seven winners, including Dredlock Rockstar, who was retired as a 12-year-old with a record of 171 starts for 22 wins, 50 placings and $283,502 in stakes. His most important victory was in the Parliamentarians Cup in November 2013, a week after he had finished third behind Bettors Fire and Im Victorious in the group 2 Mount Eden Sprint.