Thompson Holds the Whip Hand

11 October 2018 | Ken Casellas
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Liam Neil...

Liam Neil... Photo by Scott Hamilton Media

Astute Byford trainer David Thompson holds a strong hand in the opening event at Gloucester Park on Friday night with three runners in the 2130m Retravision Westbred Pace and in-form young reinsman Dylan Egerton-Green has given punters a valuable lead by choosing to drive Liam Neil in preference to stablemates in preference to Whoswhointhezoo and Our Perkins.

Thompson has got away to a flying start in the 2018-19 season with six wins and three placings from his first 12 starters, while Egerton-Green is in seventh position in the Statewide drivers’ premiership table with seven winners and 31 placegetters.

Four-year-old Liam Neil is in sparkling form, with three wins and a last-start third to The Art Form from his past four starts. He will start from barrier six in the field of nine, with Whoswhointhezoo (barrier two) and Our Perkins (three) are better drawn.

Stuart McDonald will drive Whoswhointhezoo, an all-the-way winner over subsequent city winner Lot Twenty One two starts ago, and Aiden de Campo has been engaged for Our Perkins, who led and won for Egerton-Green at Pinjarra three starts ago.

Liam Neil is by Modern Art and is out of Jane Elouise, a winner of four races from 14 starts, including the group 3 Sales Classic for two-year-old fillies at Gloucester Park in February 2006. Liam Neil is a half-brother to three winners, including Soho Jackman, who earned $282,518 from 26 wins and 25 placings from 94 starts.

Liam Neil is the youngest runner in Friday night’s race, which promises to provide a keen struggle for early ascendancy between the polemarker Bhagwan (Mitch Miller) and the massive gelding Whoswhointhezoo. Liam Neil possesses a strong finishing burst and he and he and the Aiden Warwick-trained Hastalavista will have many admirers.

Hastalavista, who will be driven by Aldo Cortopassi, is awkwardly drawn at barrier eight, but the six-year-old has the ability to overcome this significant disadvantage. He was placed once from four starts as a four-year-old and reappeared in August after a 13-month absence. His six outings in this campaign have produced five wins and a second placing.

The Neil Lloyd-trained Bhagwan is an M2-class performer and the noted frontrunner is sure to appreciate meeting lower-assessed rivals on extremely favourable terms.