Dongara trainer Noel Pateman has won a host of WA’s major country races; however, the Carnarvon Cup (2000m) is one that has eluded his grasp.
But the veteran horseman firmly believes he can shatter that hoodoo when he saddles two starters in the $50,000 contest on Saturday.
Headlining Pateman’s double assault is Devilish Intent, who despite his age is racing with zest and a high level of consistency.
Since taking out the Mount Magnet Cup (1800m) earlier in April, the ten-year-old hasn’t finished out of a top four finish in eight starts.
He has racked up five placings including the runner up prizes in the Port Hedland Cup (2200m) and the Broome Cup (2200m) respectively.
Pateman believes a drop back in distance is the key and remains adamant
Pateman is adamant Devilish Intent, who will be ridden by in form Perth jockey, Ryan Hill, can give him his first Carnarvon Cup win.
“I have absolutely no doubt he can do it and he deserves to win it,” said Pateman.
“He is in really good form and I couldn’t be happier with how he is going.
“I think he is looking for 2000m and that will be the key.
“He has just been getting caught late in his races.
“I really do think he can win it.”
Devilish Intent will have to overcome the widest gate in the field of 14 but Pateman doesn’t believe it will pose any threat.
“Carnarvon is a bit like Flemington where once you get around the bend there is a long straight,” said Pateman.
“There is plenty of time to be able to find your spot and get into position.
“He will go forward and take up a prominent place.”
Pateman has healthy respect for stable mate, All Primed Up, but considers the mare to have the task ahead of her.
“I like her but I think she is 12 months away,” said Pateman.
“This distance range is still new to her.
“She is a long term project.”
While confident Devilish Intent will give punters a good run for their money as he has throughout his current campaign, Pateman says he can’t ignore history.
He believes This Cat Rocks and Me Hungi, prepared by Jacqueline Henderson, are dangers after they quinellaed last fortnight’s Peter Evans Memorial (1700m).
“I think Wayside is probably the hardest to beat,” said Pateman.
“But how can you ignore the Peter Evans Memorial?
“It’s proven to be the greatest guide to the Carnarvon Cup.
“Five of the past six winners have won it.”
RWWA: Julio Santarelli