Patronus Star and Mighty Conqueror, leading pacers in Greg and Skye Bond’s Forrestdale stables, should provide the highlight of the nine-event meeting at Gloucester Park on Friday night when they clash in the $25,000 Catalano Truck And Equipment Pace.
They should fight out the finish of the 2130m Free-For-All, with little separating the sons of wonderful American sire American Ideal.
Four-year-old Patronus Star will be strongly fancied from the prized No. 1 barrier, with six-year-old Mighty Conqueror facing a more testing assignment from the No. 6 barrier. With the Bond stable’s No. 1 driver Ryan Warwick enjoying a family holiday, Deni Roberts will drive Patronus Star for the first time in a race. Dylan Egerton-Green will handle Mighty Conqueror for the twelfth time.
Egerton-Green has driven Mighty Conqueror to victory twice, as well as notching two seconds and three thirds with the brilliant performer who has amassed $603,530 from 19 wins and 11 placings from 41 starts.
The stablemates have clashed twice in races, with Mighty Conqueror winning over 2130m at Gloucester Park on June 11, with Patronus Star just a nose away in second place after enjoying an ideal trip in the one-out, one-back position. Mighty Conqueror gave a splendid performance to win after working hard in the breeze.
They met again in the 2130m Past President’s Cup on June 25 when Mighty Conqueror surged home from eighth at the bell to finish second to Shockwave, and Patronus Star finished fifth after setting the pace.
The Bond pair’s other five rivals are Alta Blues, Ideal Liner and Gambit from the stables of Gary Hall snr, and Ross Olivieri’s Major Times and Boom Time.
Gary Hall jnr has opted to drive the inexperienced but talented four-year-old Alta Blues from barrier two, with Maddison Brown driving Ideal Liner and Callan Suvaljko in the sulky behind Gambit.
Alta Blues is in excellent form with four wins and a second placing from his past five starts. However, Hall jnr has no great confidence of victory with a pacer who has raced only 18 times for ten wins. “I think, ability-wise he is close to Patronus Star and Mighty Conqueror, but he is a long way behind them, maturity-wise,” he said.
Chris Voak will drive Major Times from the outside barrier, with Chris Lewis handling Boom Time from the No. 4 barrier. Major Times is the better of the Olivieri runners, with his past three starts producing a win over Chicago Bull, a head second to Patronus Star and a fourth behind Shockwave, Mighty Conqueror and To Fast To Serious.
Mighty Conqueror’s most recent appearance was over 2130m at Gloucester Park last Sunday week when he took the lead 450m after the start, set a fast pace and fought on tigerishly to finish a neck second to Shockwave in an event in which the final three quarters whizzed by in 28.4sec., 27.5sec. and 27.6sec.
Written by: Ken Casellas | Photo Credit: Hamilton Content Creators