Ken Casellas | Photo: Hamilton Content Creators
Talented colt Otis chalked up his eighth win from 26 starts and boosted his earnings to $78,406 when he raced without cover early and then enjoyed the one-out, one-back trail before finishing determinedly to snatch a head victory from the pacemaker Burghley Shard in the 2130m Direct Trades Supply Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night.
Otis, the second fancy at $2.60, foiled a spirited bid by brilliant young driver Emily Suvaljko to land her fourth winner on the nine-event program.
“My plan actually wasn’t to lead,” explained the 20-year-old Suvaljko. “We put the hood on because he comes out of the gate a lot better with it on. I wanted to hand up to Junior (Gary Hall jnr, driving the $2.25 favourite Mr Fantastic), but as soon as I grabbed hold of Burghley Shard, he started to hit a wheel. So, Junior then ducked in on my back.”
Burghley Shard, a $31 chance prepared by Kristy Elson, covered the lead time in a brisk 35.7sec. before relaxing and running the first quarters of the final mile in 30.6sec. and 29.5sec. before increasing the tempo with a fast 28.7sec. third 400m section. The final quarter was run in 30.4sec. and Burghley Shard just failed to hold out Otis, who was driven patiently by Dylan Egerton-Green.
Otis, trained by David Thompson and bred by Steve Johnson and raced by him and his daughter Charlotte, rated 1.57 and looks destined to develop into a strong candidate for classic events for four-year-olds next year.
He is bred to be a good winner, being the first foal from the Art Major mare Janet Gai, who is a full-sister to Isaiah Artois (winner of the group 1 Pearl Classic in 2014) and a full-sister to Mandy Joan, who has raced 47 times for 12 wins, 12 placings and stakes of $149,447.
Egerton-Green maintained his winning form at Narrogin on Saturday night when he brought the Hayden Reeves-trained five-year-old Second Amendment ($19) home with a solid burst from three back on the pegs to defeat Adda Navajos Gift in a 2242m event.