THE nomination of one-time Victoria Derby placegetter Bondeiger for Saturday’s Caulfield meeting has created another headache for Melbourne form analysts.
The four-year-old has been entered in a 2000m handicap first up for new trainer Darren Weir after being transferred from the stables of Danny O’Brien.
It is a situation that will undoubtedly elicit a number of varied responses from punters.
Weir is widely known for orchestrating ‘form reversals’ with new runners to his stable.
Former Hawkes-trained galloper Rageese is one high-profile example of a runner showing a marked improvement in performance at its first start for Weir.
While some improvements are not as drastic – new stable acquisition and recent Saturday winner Kenjorwood was a consistent performer in his former life with Peter Moody – few can deny that Weir has consistently exhibited the capacity to obtain greater levels of performance from tried horses.
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But what does this knowledge mean for punters? While some may gleefully mark the likes of Bondeiger shorter this Saturday than they otherwise would have, Darren Potter has admitted his approach will be slightly more cautious.
“When I’m doing my full set of prices, I treat these new Weir horses first up very warily, there’s no other choice,” Potter said.
“An awful lot of them run to their absolute best but not all of them.
“When I first price them I look at them as though they haven’t changed stables. Then I look at how I’d price them if they were to run to their absolute best.
“But as far as betting goes, you can’t strongly commit to a position too early.
“When the race actually comes, if there’s no support then you leave them at their initial price.
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“If there is support, for example, Kenjorwood when winning at Sandown, I revert to my price for the runner at their best form.”
While the final fields for Saturday’s racing haven’t been declared, Potter admitted his position on Bondeiger will be fairly straightforward should he run.
“He’s a mongrel of a horse!” Potter joked.
“He’ll run okay and if he’s supported he’d be in with a chance at this time of year.
“Obviously Darren Weir has a lot of success in these situations. He puts their mind on the job.
“You have to remember Bondeiger did run a place in a Derby albeit with a cloud over the run.
“But at 2000m it would be a horse you wouldn’t want to get too involved in either way.”