Egerton-Green is Confident

Outstanding young reinsman Dylan Egerton-Green is delighted at Patrickthepiranha drawing the coveted No. 1 barrier in the $40,000 Caduceus Club Classic at Gloucester Park on Friday night and is confident the WA-bred gelding will continue on his winning ways.

“He gets away good from the arm and he’s got better with every run,” he declared. “And I’m confident that Patrickthepiranha is quick enough to hold the lead. He’s shown that at his previous runs.

“Having his first run for a month is not a concern; he’s down the beach a fair bit and has also been working well. He hoppled today (Tuesday) and went really good, working by himself. Last Friday he worked with a few others and I was very happy with him.”

Patrickthepiranha is aiming to extend his winning sequence to seven. He is unbeaten at six starts as a three-year-old and Egerton-Green (who has driven the gelding at all of his nine starts for seven wins, a first-up fifth and a third placing) said he was “probably” the best three-year-old he has driven.

“I was fortunate to have driven Bechers Brook as a three-year-old last season (when he won the Battle of Bunbury and the Group 2 Western Gateway Pace before finishing a fast-finishing head second to King of Swing in the WA Derby),” he said.

“They are two different horses. Bechers Brook was more of a sit and kick horse and Patrickthepiranha is more versatile; he can lead, sit-kick and is tougher.”

Patrickthepiranha is prepared by ace Banjup trainer Colin Brown, who trained and drove The Hard Ball Get when he won the 2002 Caduceus Club Classic from Roadless Travelled and Sacre Bleu. Brown also won the Classic as a driver with David Hercules in 2010 and Ohokas Bondy in 2011.

Patrickthepiranha’s chief rivals Shockwave and Franco Edward will need luck after drawing out wide. Shockwave, the winner of seven races from 17 starts, will begin from barrier No. 7, with Franco Edward, a winner at eight of his 12 starts, on his outside.

Shockwave is in sparkling form and his seven starts this season have produced four wins and three placings. He is trained at Baskerville by Ryan Bell and will be driven by champion reinsman Gary Hall Jnr, who has won the classic behind Latte (2003), Ulrich (2004), Alberts Fantasy (2006), Gracias Para Nada (2012), Northview Punter (2013) and Beaudiene Boaz (2015).

Shockwave has revealed sparkling gate speed from barrier five at his past two starts for easy all-the-way wins over 1730m and 2130m. Whether he can cross to the front from barrier seven this week is debatable.

Franco Edward, trained and driven by Kyle Harper, made most of the running when beaten into second place by the fast-finishing Sweet N Fast over 2536m last Friday night. That followed two convincing wins over 2185m at Pinjarra at his two previous starts.

Champion trainer Gary Hall Snr, who has won the classic seven times, will be represented by the consistent and improving Eloquent Mach, who will be driven by Stuart McDonald from the outside of the back line.

Eloquent Mach notched his fourth win from ten starts when he raced wide early and then in the breeze before fighting on determinedly to win from Know When To Run over 2130m at Gloucester Park on Tuesday evening. He faces a far tougher assignment against much stronger opposition on Friday night.

Shannon Suvaljko, last season’s leading driver, is hoping for a change of fortune with the highly-promising Gee Jay Kay, who will start from, the No. 3 barrier for trainer Vicki Lea. Gee Jay Kay is still somewhat green, but has performed meritoriously at his three outings as a three-year-old with a second, a third and a fourth behind Shockwave.

“His trial at Byford on Sunday was really good,” Suvaljko said. “He needs to sit and come over the top. He’s got some good horses to beat, but he’s up to them. It’s a good draw, but not a great draw.” Gee Jay Kay dashed over the final quarters of the 2150m trial in 28.9sec. and 27.1sec. and finished second to Another Snag.