York Ebor Festival 2015: Great Voltigeur Stakes preview (15.05)
Bondi Beach looks decent value to provide top Irish trainer Aidan O’Brien with a third winner of the Group 2 Great Voltigeur Stakes on day one of York’s Ebor Festival (15.05).
The colt is one of three representatives for the Ballydoyle handler in this year’s renewal of the 1m 4f contest and has a progressive profile.
After being nudged out to beat stable companion Bantry Bay by a short-head on his debut at Leopardstown, Bondi Beach was arguably given too much to do when staying on strongly from well off the pace to be beaten 1/2 a length in a 1m 4f Listed contest at the same venue.
The beautifully bred son of Galileo then got back to winning ways in the Group 3 Curragh Cup when last seen in action, posting a career best performance to beat stable companion Order Of St George by a short-head.
Bondi Beach was value for more than the winning margin as jockey Seamie Heffernan dropped his whip a furlong and a half from home, and it was to the three-year-old’s credit that he responded well under a hands and heels ride to get up on the line.
It was an effort which suggested Bondi Beach needed keeping firmly onside, and although this demands more he remains unexposed and is clearly on an upward curve.
The fact that Joseph O’Brien has chosen to partner him over Aloft and Giovanni Canaletto, who both have proven form at Group 1 level, also looks a big plus and suggests that Bondi Beach is the stable number one.
Storm The Stars brings the strongest form to the table and looks the obvious danger.
The William Haggas trained colt finished a cracking third to Golden Horn in the Investec Derby at Epsom and went on to chase home Jack Hobbs in the Irish equivalent.
On both occasions, Storm The Stars finished in front of Giovanni Canaletto and there is no reason why he should not confirm the form with that rival.
The son of Sea The Stars also ran well last time out when third in the Group 1 Grand Prix De Paris at Longchamp and looks sure to appreciate the drop down in class.
However, this is Storm The Stars seventh run of the season and I feel he could prove vulnerable to a more lightly raced type like Bondi Beach following what has already been a gruelling campaign.
Another well worthy of a mention is the Richard Hannon trained Tashaar, who is unbeaten in two starts and looked a Group performer in the making when defying top weight to win a handicap at Goodwood in facile fashion.
Coral’s top tip: Bondi Beach is a brilliant bet to get Great Voltigeur glory here.