Ken Casellas | Photo: Hamilton Content Creators
West Australian-bred colt Otis stamped himself as a genuine contender for the rich Golden Nugget next season when he gave a commanding performance to crush his rivals in the 2536m Choices Flooring Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night.
Otis, trained by David Thompson and driven by Dylan Egerton-Green, was a $3.50 chance from barrier five at his first start for nine weeks, and he settled down in the one-out, two-back position before Egerton-Green asserted his authority by switching the colt three wide after 550m and sending him to the front 150m later.
He sped over the final 800m in 56.2sec. and won by 8m from $20 chance Burghley Shard, rating 1.58. Rocknroll Elliot ($8), a stablemate of Otis who had led early, fought on solidly to finish third.
Otis now has raced 24 times for seven wins, nine placings and $64,512 in prizemoney. He was bred by Steve Johnson, who races him in partnership with his daughter Charlotte. Otis is by American sire Sweet Lou and is the first foal out of the Art Major mare Janet Gai.
Janet Gai was retired after winning at her final start, at Pinjarra on March 7, 2016. She is a half-sister to Isaiah Artois, the winner of the group 1 Pearl Classic in June 2014, and is a full-sister to smart mare Mandy Joan, who has earned $147,227 from 12 wins and 11 placings from 45 starts. Machnificent, the $2.70 favourite in Friday night’s event, raced at the rear in the Indian file field of seven and was forced wide in the final lap in which he ran on from last to finish fourth.