Bandi’s Boy causes minor upset in Group 3 Star Kingdom Stakes

Bandi's Boy
Bandi’s Boy claimed the Group 3 Star Kingdom Stakes. Photo: RacingNSW

The Danny Williams-trained Bandi’s Boy (+1400) has launched late to claim victory in the Group 3 Star Kingdom Stakes (1200m) at Rosehill on Saturday afternoon.

The son of The Brothers War may have been the forgotten horse early by online betting sites, with punters firming the four-year-old gelding from $34.00 at the open to as short as +1400 prior to the jump.

Many would have thought the Country Championship Final (1400m) next Saturday at Randwick would be the grand final target, but thanks to a perfectly timed ride by Jay Ford, Bandi’s Boy has added some black-type to the resume.

The Bjorn Baker-trained Malkovich ($26.00) rolled to the front early under Joshua Parr and gave a bold sight when asked for the ultimate effort in the straight.

Bandi’s Boy was the only notable chaser with 200m to travel, with the likes of Hawaii Five Oh (+450), Libertad (+600) and Zou Tiger (+550) never sighted in the concluding stages, while the Chris Waller-trained Roots (+1300) was doing her best work late to sneak into the minor money.

2024 Group 3 Star Kingdom Stakes Replay – Bandi’s Boy

Danny Williams admitted this was more of a tune up for next Saturday but was delighted with the display of Bandi’s Boy.

“He wasn’t wound down for this race,” said Williams.

“Obviously he was in today for next week which is our Grand Final (in the Country Championships Final). Look, the horse just keeps going to another level. He keeps lifting the bar and obviously the 1400-metres is going to suit him better than the 1200.

“He had a nice weight today and from a very nice ride. He’s got so much upside and he’s only going to improve.

“The back-up is what we’ve planned.

“Obviously there is a bit of rain forecast next week and he needed that fitness. We’ve been a little bit soft on him coming into today, he’d only had the one gallop and a barrier trial leading in in the last four weeks. He went to the paddock for a week and he’s done extremely well and the horse just keeps getting better.”

Jay Ford credited the maturity of his mount and believes he’ll be ready to go again next week in the Country Championship.

“He’s always had really good ability,” said Ford.

“This prep has probably been the real making of him.

“He’s always done the little things wrong, wanting to run off the track and just getting the one-percenters wrong. But this prep he has really started to put it all together and he has just flown through the grades. He’s qualified for the Country Champs and it’s not a bad lead-up is it, winning a stakes race leading into that.

“He’s a very talented horse. Danny has managed him very well. He got injured a long time ago, he had a long time off and now they’re reaping the rewards.

“He’s the right horse for the Country Championships. I always thought that from a fair few months ago. He’s flying through the grades so all things being equal, if he turns up in this sort of form next week he should be hard to beat.”

Bandi’s Boy is a clear +150 favourite for next Saturday’s Country Championship Final (1400m).

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