Follow the Voak Train

With six winners already this week, Chris Voak makes strong appeal as the driver to follow at Gloucester Park on Friday night when he will be in action in the first nine events on the ten-race program. 

He nominates Iceenothink, Captain Mannering, Batavia On Fire and Rock Me Over as his best each-way prospects and is sure to be strongly supported in the opening event when he drives Itsnotova for Byford trainer David Thompson.

Voak was engaged to drive Itsnotova on Wednesday after the gelding’s regular reinsman Dylan Egerton-Green was suspended for seven days for causing interference in a race at Gloucester Park on Tuesday night. Itsnotova has a losing sequence of ten, but his recent efforts have been full of merit, including his fast-finishing burst from 11th at the bell to be an eye-catching third to Soho Thunderstruck and The Last Drop last Friday night.

Itsnotova looms as the main danger to the polemarker My Carbon Copy, a promising four-year-old prepared by champion trainer Gary Hall Snr. My Carbon Copy is a speedy beginner who has won at five of his past six starts. “He goes all right and should set the pace and prove hard to beat,” said star reinsman Gary Hall Jnr.

Voak, who is second on the WA drivers’ premiership table with 86 wins (three behind Ryan Warwick), likes the chances of the Ross Olivieri-trained Iceenothink, who will start from the No. 2 barrier in race two the 2536m Owners Only Pace.

“Iceenothink’s second behind James Butt last Friday week was super,” said Voak. “He’s been sprinting home very good and, hopefully, we don’t get too far back.”

The Kristian Hawkins-trained Runaway Three is a noted frontrunner and is ideally suited from the No. 1 barrier. Hall said that he planned to set the pace.

Hopeland trainer Giles Inwood prepares Batavia On Fire (No. 1 barrier) in race three, the 2130m Community TAB Pace, and Captain Mannering (barrier ten) in the fourth event, the 2130m Off The Track Pace. Voak gives both pacers a strong each-way chance.

“Batavia On Fire is a good chance from the inside barrier,” said Voak. “He sat in the breeze last Friday night and ran fourth to Always An Honour when they ran home in 55.5sec. He goes well in front.

”Captain Mannering is a really good chance. I reckon Hoiho will lead and we will have the chance to sit behind him.” Captain Mannering sat behind the pacemaker three starts ago when he ran on to win from Say It Now over 1730m and last Friday night he set the pace and finished an excellent second to Fake News.

“Rock Me Over surprised me with the way he finished to be third behind Ideal Liner last week and he is sure to be prominent in the RWWA Cup from barrier one,” Voak said.

Voak’s other drives at the meeting are Withoutthetuh, Marquisard, Sameplace Sametime and The Male Model.

He started the week with a double at Williams on Sunday, getting Emjay Twenty Three ($6.50) home to win the Williams Cup by a nose after winning with $4.80 chance Carramar Philemon. He then landed a treble at Pinjarra on Monday with Black Jack Baby ($1.14), Stars of Gold ($9) and Roman Art ($6) before winning with Run For Mercy ($1.50) at Gloucester Park on Tuesday evening.

Voak also has several good drives at Bunbury on Saturday night, including James Butt in the $25,000 Manea Classic and promising three-year-old Magic Matteo.