Latest News

Ken Casellas | Photo: Hamilton Content Creators

Star reinsman Chris Voak is bubbling with confidence that the brilliant, lightly-raced Papinik will carry too many guns for his rivals in the $50,000 Mondo Doro Governor’s Cup over 2130m at Gloucester Park on Friday night.

“After drawing barrier one, Papinik should lead his rivals on a merry dance,” said Voak. “Definitely, the plan is to lead, which he should do easily, with a leg in the air.

“The last time he led over this distance was five starts ago when he rated 1.55 (and won by a length and a half from Golden State, with final quarters of 27.9sec. and 27.1sec.).” He also set the pace over 2130m and rated 1.54.5 when he won by seven and a half lengths from Valentines Brook 13 months ago.

Papinik warmed up for Friday night’s group 2 Cup with an impressive second to Diego in the 2692m Pinjarra Cup on Monday of last week. He raced in eighth position in the one-wide line before starting a three-wide move at the 400m mark and, showing explosive speed, burst to the front on the home turn before being overhauled by Diego in the final 20m.

That was Papinik’s first run for 17 days. “He was probably a half run short in the Pinjarra Cup,” said Voak. “Now I expect him to be at his peak for Friday’s assignment. This field doesn’t look any stronger than the Pinjarra Cup field.”

Papinik, a WA-bred six-year-old, has had only 22 starts for 13 wins and seven placings. He is trained by Ross Olivieri, who is seeking his second victory in the Governor’s Cup, following his success in February 2016 with Chief Thundercloud, who started from the No. 1 barrier, was driven by Stuart McDonald and defeated Dredlock Rockstar and Cyamach.

Adding considerable interest to Friday night’s Cup will be the reappearance of exciting New Zealand-bred five-year-old Texas Tiger, who will be having his first start since finishing a disappointing first-up eighth behind Perfect Major in the Stratton Cup on October 1 last year. That followed a sequence of eight consecutive wins at his first eight starts in WA, including an all-the-way victory in the group 2 Four and Five-Year-Old Championship 12 months ago.

Texas Tiger is prepared by champion trainer Gary Hall snr, who has won the Governor’s Cup with Chicago Bull (2018) and Wildwest (2021). Gary Hall jnr, who will be in the sulky behind Texas Tiger, was associated with the wins of Chicago Bull and Wildwest, and also was successful with the Justin Prentice-trained Rocknroll Lincoln in 2019.

Texas Tiger, who possesses sparkling gate speed, will begin from barrier five and is capable of a bold first-up showing. Among other strong contenders on Friday night are To Fast To Serious, Double Up, Miracle Moose and Classic Choice.

Aldo Cortopassi has driven To Fast To Serious at all of his 32 starts for 16 wins and six placings. The six-year-old returned to top form last Friday night, when at his third outing after a spell, he was untroubled to set the pace and sprint over the final 800m in 55.2sec. on his way to victory over Space Junk and Heez Our Perseus.

To Fast To Serious is trained at Mt Helena by Ray Williams, who prepared Pacific Warrior for his wins in the 2014 and 2015 Governor’s Cup. Williams also trained 50/1 outsider Cyclone Banner when Cortopassi brought him home with a strong burst to finish third behind Wildwest and Miracle Moose in last year’s Governor’s Cup.

The Nathan Turvey-trained Miracle Moose (to be driven by Emily Suvaljko) set the pace and held on to win from Diego and To Fast To Serious two starts ago. He faces a stern test this week from out wide at barrier No. 8.

Double Up, prepared by leading trainers Greg and Skye Bond and to be driven by Ryan Warwick from barrier three, and will have admirers after finishing third behind Diego and Papinik in the Pinjarra Cup. Warwick and the Bonds combined to win the Governor’s Cup with Our Jimmy Johnstone in 2017.

The Barry Howlett-trained Classic Choice (barrier four) faces a steep rise in class but has impressed this year with a runaway victory in the Albany Cup and a tough win in the Manea Classic at Bunbury after racing without cover. He will be driven by Chris Lewis, who won the Governor’s Cup with Has The Answers in 2010.