Ken Casellas | Photo: Hamilton Content Creators
Outstanding reinsman Dylan Egerton-Green coolly overcame a fleeting moment of anxiety at the start of the $50,000 Garrard’s Horse And Hound Easter Cup at Gloucester Park on Friday night before he seized the moment to send Ideal Agent forward to burst to the front 750m after the start of the 2902m standing-start event.
It was this aggressive action by Egerton-Green and his correct assessment of the situation that paved the way for Ideal Agent’s commanding two-length victory over Twobob Cracker.
Frontmarker Gee Smith ($17) dashed to an early lead, with Ideal Agent, the $2.30 favourite from the 20-metre mark settling down in seventh position after he had raced roughly and shuffled away for three strides at the start, threatening to break into a full gallop.
“Ideal Agent hadn’t raced in a stand for a while and he tried to race the other horses at the start,” explained Egerton-Green. “I wasn’t worried, and I just tried to balance him.
“Then I thought that over the 2900m, the leader (Gee Smith) might have handed up and be happy to take the trail. And that’s what he did, and it all worked out good. Ideal Agent is a very good horse, and he went to the line strongly.”
With Awaitinginstructions ($23) racing without cover, Ideal Agent met with no pressure as he bowled along in front. After opening quarters of the final mile in 30.9sec. and 30.6sec. Ideal Agent sprinted over the final 400m sections in 28.7sec. and 27.9sec. to win easily.
Gee Smith held on to finish third, with the $4 second favourite Doc Holliday finishing sixth after racing in ninth position with two laps to travel and improving to seventh at the bell.
Ideal Agent’s victory capped a wonderful night for leading trainers Greg and Skye Bond, giving them their fourth winner, following earlier successes with Booraa, Ima Rockabilly Rebel and Double Up. This was the third Easter Cup win for the Bonds, who prepared Assassinator (2017) and Mighty Conqueror (2019) for their victories.
Egerton-Green’s drive was a carbon copy of Ryan Warwick’s drive to land Mighty Conqueror (off 20m) the winner over As Happy As Larry three years ago when Warwick dashed Mighty Conqueror forward to take up the running after a lap.
Egerton-Green now boasts a perfect record in the sulky behind Ideal Agent, having driven him three times for three wins. Ideal Agent, a New Zealand-bred five-year-old by American Ideal, has earned $151,593 from 11 wins, 12 seconds and two thirds from 43 starts. He won at four of his 31 starts in New Zealand, and his 12 WA starts have produced seven wins and four placings.