El Jacko Can Turn the Tables
Smart pacers El Jacko and Vultan Tin have developed a keen rivalry this season and their clash in the $25,000 Westral Outdoor Patio Blinds Pace over 2130m will be a highlight of the ten-event program at Gloucester Park on Friday night.
El Jacko, prepared by leading trainers Greg and Skye Bond, produced an eye-catching performance when a fast-finishing second to Vultan Tin in the Group 2 City of Perth Cup last Friday night and he has excellent prospects of turning the tables on his arch rival this week.
Leading reinsman Ryan Warwick resumes as El Jacko’s driver this week after handling stablemates in El Jacko’s past five starts. Warwick and El Jacko have formed as powerful combination, with Warwick in the sulky at 14 of the New Zealand-bred six-year-old’s 17 wins in Western Australia.
El Jacko is the only runner on the back line in Friday night’s race and Warwick will have many tactical options. Vultan Tin, to be driven by Chris Voak for Coolup part-owner and trainer Phil Costello, will start from the No. 4 barrier and Voak looks set to take advantage of the seven-year-old’s good gate speed.
Vultan Tin set the pace from barrier two in last week’s Cup. He had an easy time and was not challenged in front. After leisurely opening quarters of the final mile in 31.1sec. and 29.3sec. Vultan Tin sprinted over the final 400m sections in 28.2sec. and 27.8sec. as he strolled to a two-length victory over El Jacko.
El Jacko, driven by Dylan Egerton-Green, started from the back line and raced in seventh position in the one-wide line. He was six wide on the home turn, ninth at the 100m mark and eighth with 60m to travel as he flew home into second place. He made up three lengths on Vultan Tin in the straight.
Vultan Tin and El Jacko should again fight out the finish this week as their trainers prepare them for an assault on Group 2 $50,000 features in the next few weeks the RWWA Cup, Governor’s Cup and Pinjarra Cup.
Apart from El Jacko, the Bond stable will be represented in this week’s Free-For-All by Mitch Maguire (Nathan Turvey) and Our Jimmy Johnstone (Egerton-Green). Byford trainer Ross Olivieri has three runners, Mr Mojito (Shannon Suvaljko), Im Full of Excuses (Chris Lewis) and Itz Bettor To Win (Stuart McDonald), who have drawn barriers one, two and three, respectively.
Capel trainer Andrew de Campo is hoping for a strong forward showing from Handsandwheels (Aiden de Campo) and Blythewood trainer Michael Brennan will be represented by veteran The Bucket List (Michael Grantham).
Handsandwheels ran home determinedly from sixth at the bell to finish third in the City of Perth Cup, and The Bucket List was tenth at the bell before surging home, out wide, into fifth place.