Ken Casellas | Photo: Hamilton Content Creators
Lightly-raced WA-bred five-year-old Papinik thrilled excited spectators at Gloucester Park on Friday night when he unleashed an explosive finishing burst to snatch a last-stride victory over the pacemaker Rockaball in a 2536m event.
The Advance Attack gelding, resuming after a six-month absence and favourite at $2.60, appeared to have no chance when he was sixth and following a three-wide burst by Euphoria with 270m to travel. He was still sixth and out four wide, on the home bend before he flew home to gain the verdict by a head.
Rockaball, a $4.80 chance, dashed over the final 400m in 27.9sec. (after a third quarter of 27.8sec.) and trainer Ross Olivieri and reinsman Chris Voak agreed that Papinik would have covered the final 400m in a fraction under 27sec.
“He is probably the fastest horse, point-to-point, that I’ve ever had,” said Olivieri. “He’s very fast and is the poor man’s Im Themightyquinn.
“He also has had problems, even some that we didn’t realise he had. He is now problem-free, and I think that his trials and his run tonight show what he can do when he is not carrying a bit of soreness in his feet and soreness in the knees. The owners, to their credit, have been very patient.
“We found a few things he had during his previous preparation, issues that we didn’t discover until after that prep. Now he is carrying a longer hopple and a longer head check and is more sound. We might even have a tilt at a decent race somewhere along the line.
“I reckon he went under 27sec. for the final quarter. He was off the track and made up about four lengths. On the home turn, I thought he could run a place, but would be unable to catch the leader.”
Olivieri was quick to applaud the work of his stable staff in helping to get Papinik back to full fitness. “I have to pay tribute to the extreme efforts of the people who work with me, in particular my wife Jemma, who found something in the horse’s shoeing.
“She wanted to shoe Papinik in a different way. So, we did, and it worked.”
Papinik is the ninth foal out of Artists Impression, who also produced Heez On Fire, who raced 52 times for 20 wins, eight placings and $287,607 in prizemoney. Papinik’s 15 starts have resulted in ten wins and four placings for stakes of $67,961.