Egerton-Green Seeks Double

Dylan Egerton-Green, who has landed 89 winners this season, is looking forward with a healthy dose of confidence of driving the winner of the first and final events at Gloucester Park on Friday night.

In the first event, the Better Your Bet With TABtouch Pace, he will handle promising two-year Otis, and in the final event, the TABtouch Pace, he will drive Otis’s aunty Mandy Joan. Both pacers were bred by Steve Johnson.

“Both should be hard to beat,” said Egerton-Green. Otis is handily drawn at barrier two and Mandy Joan has a favourable draw at No. 3.

“I’ll be trying to lead with Otis,” Egerton-Green said. “He’s still quite green, but with every run he gets better. Hopefully, he can keep his winning form intact.”

Otis has won in good style at his past two outings. He raced wide in the early stages before charging to the front and careering away from his rivals to win by more than six lengths from Absolute Delight at Pinjarra four Mondays ago and then he bowled along in front and won comfortably from Star of Willoughby at Gloucester Park last Friday week.

From barrier two Otis has a distinct advantage over his main rivals Arma Einstein (barrier six), Star of Willoughby (seven) and Robbie Rocket (eight).

Arma Einstein broke through for his first victory at his seventh start when he finished powerfully from eighth at the bell to win from Eldaytona at a 1.58.8 rate over 2185m at Pinjarra three Mondays ago. “This horse is on the way up and should develop into a smart performer,” said trainer-reinsman Colin Brown.

Star of Willoughby, prepared by Ross Olivieri and to be driven by Chris Voak, caught the eye at his latest appearance when he ran home strongly from seventh at the bell in a field of seven to be second to Otis. “I have won two races with him, but this is a tricky draw,” said Voak. “However, with a good trip, he can salute the judge.”

Robbie Rocket is racing with considerable heart for Byford trainer Vicki Lea and he impressed in the group 1 Golden Slipper three weeks ago when he finished strongly from eighth at the bell to be third behind Mighty Ronaldo and Give Us A Wave.

Otis, by American stallion Sweet Lou, is out of Janet Gai, a full-sister to Mandy Joan, who is in top form for Capel trainer-reinsman Aiden de Campo, with three Gloucester park wins from her past five starts.

De Campo, who is serving a brief term of suspension, has handed the reins to Egerton-Green, who said he was delighted to be reunited with the four-year-old mare he has driven 26 times for seven wins when trained by David Thompson.

“She is a mare who has had a few tricks,” said Egerton-Green. “She wasn’t tractable, but Aiden seems to have ironed out her problems. I have a lot of time for Mandy Joan, and it’s just a matter of her putting it all together on race night. She is smart enough to beat Fake News.”

Fake News, trained by Gary Hall Snr and to be handled by Gary Hall Jnr, is sure to prove a formidable opponent for Mandy Joan. She will start from the No. 5 barrier and will have many admirers.

Fake News made an excellent return to racing after a five-month absence when she set the pace from barrier two and sprinted over the final 400m in 27.8sec. to beat Parisian Partygirl and Just Rockon Bye last Friday week.

Parisian Partygirl (barrier four) and Just Rockon Bye (six) add plenty of substance to the small field of six and are certainly capable of causing an upset. Parisian Partygirl has been placed at five of her past seven starts, and Just Rockon Bye, a stablemate of Fake News, finished with a powerful burst when a half-head second to Tommy Be Good last Friday night.