LEADING independent owner Reg Bond has excellent prospects of taking the first two races on the card at Catterick with his fleet-of-foot sprinters Bond City and Bond Boy.

Reg has thrown his full weight behind trainer Bryan Smart, who handles around 30 horses for the boss of Marshal Tyres at his Hambleton House Stables, not far from Thirsk.

Smart has a pretty good record at the course and there is definitely plenty of cause for optimism that Bond City (1.50) will get favourite backers off to a winning start by taking the opening EBF Novices Stakes.

Smart's two-year-old colt, fifth in the Group 2 Flying Childers Stakes at Doncaster's St Leger Festival, showed his appreciation for being dropped in grade by scoring in game fashion on the all-weather at Wolverhampton last time out.

The switch back from the polytrack to turf will not worry the Bond City, who in terms of composite form stands head-and-shoulders above the majority of his rivals in the modest £5,000 affair.

One of the horses which really cemented the partnership of Smart and Bond was undoubtedly Bond Boy (2.25), who enjoyed his finest hour by winning the 2002 Stewards' Cup at Glorious Goodwood.

Unfortunately Bond Boy has been bugged by foot problems since that time and has never quite been able to recapture his former glory. The old saying, "No foot no horse", immediately springs to mind, though Bond Boy keeps showing flashes of his old brilliance and sooner or later he's once more going to hit bulls-eye.

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