Ken Casellas | Photo: Gloucester Park Harness Racing
“I think he will give them something to catch,” declared trainer Ryan Bell when assessing the prospects of Hillview Bondi in the opening event, the 1730m Allwood Stud Sires, Stallions Of Today And The Future Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night.
Bell’s confidence was boosted when the four-year-old Hillview Bondi drew the prized No. 1 barrier, and talented young reinsman Kyle Symington plans to take full advantage of the perfect draw by attempting an all-the-way win.
Hillview Bondi, a winner at eight of his 35 starts, has finished seventh from barrier seven at his past two starts in which he has been forced to cover extra ground.
“Those two sevenths haven’t been the worst runs,” said Bell. “There is a fair bit of speed around him, but he is as fast as anything else, and I’m sure he will acquit himself well over the mile.”
In a most unusual occurrence, Symington will drive the polemarker in each of the first three events on the 11-event program. After driving Hillview Bondi in the opening event, Symington will drive Twoandahalf Tigers in race two and Dominus Factum in the following event.
The ten-year-old Twoandahalf Tigers faces a difficult assignment in the 2536m race in which he will clash with several younger and speedier rivals, including Alta Rhett, Pocket the Cash, Pradason, Euphoria and Rupert Of Lincoln, as well as nine-year-old Fanci A Dance, who is racing with plenty of enthusiasm.
The Ross Olivieri-trained Rupert Of Lincoln and the Barry Howlett-trained Fanci A Dance will start from the back line, but they are quite capable of fighting out the finish after they were placed behind the pacemaker Valbonne last Friday night.