Harvey’s hero conquers all in tense feature race
Harvey born-and-raised trainer reinsman Dylan Egerton-Green piloted Mighty Conqueror to glory by a head over Vampiro in Friday night’s $450,000 TABtouch WA Pacing Cup MS Pace (2936m) at Gloucester Park.
In a fantastic night for South West pacing, Bunbury driver Bailey McDonough guided Our Jimmy Johnstone to third place, while Capel’s Aiden De Campo ensured six-year-old star Handsandwheels surged home from the second row into fourth.
Many of connections from Handsandwheels — including Harvey-Brunswick-Leschenault league coach John Baggetta — lined the concourses in anticipation, and pondered whether De Campo could weave some of his brilliance again on the group one stage.
McDonough seized early initiative with barrier one-drawn Our Jimmy Johnstone and pursued an inside run to great effect, as the field remained fairly compact during the opening stages.
Not to be outdone, experienced driver Colin Brown — who was desperately unlucky to secure the Retravision Fremantle Pacing Cup a week earlier — elected to send Kiwi compatriot Vampiro three-wide as they turned for the home straight.
Further back in the field, De Campo was three back from the rail, albeit on Handsandwheels’ favoured inside path, as he pondered when to make his dash. McDonough continued to lead the way, but was routinely asked questions by Brown, who clearly was not intent on leaving anything in Vampiro’s tank.
After finally lifting to another gear, Egerton-Green rolled the dice and sent Mighty Conqueror to the front, which the pace genuine as a thrilling climax loomed.
Behind the leaders, De Campo finally managed to find some space for his Bunbury Pacing Cup champion, although it appeared as though this journey would be a bridge too far.
In the straight, Egerton-Green went nose to nose with Brown and the versatile five-year-old finally got his nose in front and delivered WA Pacing Cup glory to Greg and Skye Bond’s stable, which had seven runners in the 12-strong field.
Once finally seeing daylight with 50m to go, Handsandwheels tore his way from midfield, akin to a puppy sprinting around a backyard after being inside all day and ran courageously into fourth.
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