More than six years after transferring from Gai Waterhouse’s Sydney stables and four years since posting his previous Perth victory, Devilish Intent still maintains a zest for racing.
The Nicole Pateman-trained 10-year-old is no superstar, but what he might lack in pure top end class is more than matched by his resilience and competiveness.
Throughout his 89 start career Devilish Intent has displayed incredible adaptability, adjusting to six different trainers and racing at 17 tracks across Australia.
Since 2014 he has been restricted to the north-west country circuit, picking up wins in the Mount Magnet Cup (1800m) and the Roebourne Cup (2200m).
Saturday’s Roebourne Cup success timely with the Broome Cup weeks away and atonement after he ran fourth last year and second in 2014.
Ridden by experienced jockey, Peter Farrell, he shone brightly by clearing away and putting a 1 ½ length margin over his next rival, Rive Gauche.
“I was really impressed by the way he won and was rapt,” Pateman-Masters said on TABradio.
“He actually pulled away and seemed to be able to do it quite easily.
“He originally came from over east so has covered a bit of Australia.
“He travels perfectly and that is our biggest bonus, he eats up no matter where you take him.
“We are absolutely lucky to have a horse like him and I wish I had a three-year-old version.
“Being a 10-year-old you think he would have a few niggly problems, but he hasn’t had a sore day since I’ve had him.”
Pateman-Masters says Devilish Intent had pulled up a treat since his last-start victory and it was full steam ahead for the Broome Cup on August 13, Saturday’s Port Hedland Cup his likely final lead up race.
“I’ve also nominated him for the Kimberley Cup (2020m) as well and I would like to see what weight he gets for Port Hedland,” she said.
“But at this stage I’m leaning towards the Port Hedland Cup because he travels so well and there is no reason not to take him.
“We have being doing it for a few years and for the horse it feels like his second home.”
Devilish Intent has been allocated 58.5kg for the Port Hedland Cup (2200m) and 56kg for the Kimberley Cup in Broome.
The son of Don Eduardo is looking to breakthrough after two runner-up finishes behind Galaxon in the Port Hedland Cup.
In 2014, when under the care of Peter Dellar, he ran a half-length second and last year was beaten by a clear 2 ¼ lengths.
Me Hungi, prepared by Jacqueline Henderson, carries the top weight of 59kg in the Port Hedland Cup.
RWWA; Julio Santarelli