Our Perkins is Dylan's Best
Outstanding young reinsman Dylan Egerton-Green will have a big and faithful following when he drives in six of the ten events at Gloucester Park on Friday night and he declares that Our Perkins is his best winning prospect.
Our Perkins, a six-year-old prepared at Byford by Karen Thompson, has drawn the coveted No. 1 barrier in the third event, the 2130m Book Your Melbourne Cup Lunch at GP Pace, and Egerton-Green is planning an all-the-way victory.
Our Perkins has been driven at his past four starts by Deni Roberts, but she is on the sidelines, recovering from a fractured big toe. She took full advantage of the No. 1 barrier when she guided Our Perkins to an all-the-way success in 1.56.7 over 2130m three Fridays ago.
Egerton-Green also has a wonderful association with Our Perkins, having driven him to victory on six occasions.
“He definitely gets his chance from gate one this week,” said Egerton-Green. “Franco Joaquin, from gate seven, has a fair bit of gate speed and there looks to be a bit of speed from Midnight Man and Sergeant Oats on the inside of Franco Joaquin. So, hopefully, they come out and hold out Franco Joaquin which should enable me to hold up.
“I believe I have enough speed to hold the lead with Our Perkins, whose latest run was full of merit when he led and ran a good time.”
The Ross Olivieri-trained Carrera Mach (Chris Lewis) and Sergeant Oats (Shannon Suvaljko) appeal as the toughest for Our Perkins to beat. Carrera Mach impressed when he charged home from the rear to finish third Bletchley Park and Dennis over 2130m last Friday week. “He has finally drawn a gate inside seven and this gives him a chance,” said Olivieri.
Sergeant Oats, trained at Byford by Courtney Burch, is in good form and he finished strongly from the rear when a well-beaten second behind the flying Maras Ace Man over 2185m at Pinjarra on Monday afternoon. That followed a strong-finishing win over Budd Sidewinder over 2130m at Gloucester Park.
Egerton-Green also expects a strong performance from six-year-old Wesley, who is prepared in Bunbury by Sarah Wall. Wesley, a noted frontrunner with blistering gate speed, is favourably drawn at barrier four. Egerton-Green has driven the horse ten times for four wins, two seconds and a third placing.
He was in the sulky for Wesley’s most recent outing, over 2130m at Gloucester Park three Fridays ago when the horse began speedily from barrier five and then enjoyed an ideal passage, one-out and one-back, before sprinting home strongly with final quarters of 28.4sec. and 28.8sec. to win from Smoldering Ashes and Ardens Concord.
“Wesley is not purely a frontrunner,” said Egerton-Green. “He’s probably lost a bit of his early toe and it is to his credit and that of his trainer that he now races well with a sit.
“In this week’s race I’ll probably roll forward and I give him a good each-way chance. If he shows his good gate speed, I give him a good chance of crossing, but if we don’t get to the front the ambition will be to slot into a nice position.”
Egerton-Green has been booked by the powerful Greg and Skye Bond stable to drive Infinite Symbol (barrier one in the $22,000 Christmas Sundowner Packages Pace) and Twilight Saga (barrier three off the front in the eighth event, a 2503m stand). He will also drive Lord Lexus in the sixth event and Whitbys Gamble in race nine.
Five-year-old Infinite Symbol is a consistent performer and a smart frontrunner who was an all-the-way 2130m winner over Parisian Partygirl and Delightfulreaction at her most recent outing. However, she meets stronger opposition this week, including brilliant stablemate Our Alfie Romeo, who has enjoyed a beneficial winter spell since she finished strongly to win from Maczaffair on May 24.
Our Alfie Romeo has led and won five times in Western Australia where she boasts an enviable record of 20 starts for 12 wins, four seconds, three seconds and one third placing.
Our Alfie Romeo is unlikely to have a comfortable time, first-up, when she meets several in-form mares, including Crystal Sparkles, Just Rockon Bye, Cott Beach and Parisian Partygirl.
Twilight Saga is a capable standing-start performer, but she will be at handsome odds against horses of the calibre of her stablemate Mighty Conqueror, the lone backmarker off 30m, and the up-and-coming Ross Olivieri-trained Space Junk (20m).
Five-year-old Mighty Conqueror’s past eight starts have all been in stands for six wins, one second and one fourth. He reappeared after a five-month absence when he gave a superb display to win, unextended, from Forgotten Highway when he began off 40m and settled in eighth position before moving forward to race without cover and then take the lead 520m from home and coast to victory with final sectionals of 28.9sec., 27.3sec. and 29sec.
That was Mighty Conqueror’s first outing since he won the 2902m Easter Cup in April. Late last year he won the Four-Year-Old Championship and was a half-head second to Ana Malak in the Golden Nugget and third to Ana Malak in the group 1 Four-Year-Old Classic.
Space Junk will have a 10m advantage over Mighty Conqueror and certainly is capable of testing his younger rival. Space Junk has returned to form with a vengeance, scoring decisive wins in stands at his past three starts.
“At least Space Junk has a 10-metre head start n Mighty Conqueror,” said Olivieri. “But we’ve also got a lot of traffic in front of us. However, I expect Space Junk to fight out the finish. Mighty Conqueror is a very good horse and if you said I could have any horse in the Bond stable, I would take Mighty Conqueror. A year or two ago, it was El Jacko.”