Rob Camilleri has been associated with many star greyhounds but there’s no doubt diminutive Group 1 Feikuai Greyhounds Silver Chief finalist Papi Go Fast has carved a special place in the Lara trainer’s heart.
Papi Go Fast, which is on the third line of TAB’s Silver Chief market at $4.20, is remarkably yet to miss a place in his 20-start career and brought up his 14th win with a dominant front-running heat victory in his first test in elite company.
“He’s only a 28 kilo dog but he’s all heart,” said Camilleri.
“Most bitches are bigger than him. His heart is bigger than himself.
“Saturday night is a David and Goliath story!
“He’s always been a good box dog but he really gave us everything he’s got in his heat win. I was very proud of him and it’s a huge thrill just to be in a race like this.
“He’s such a little trier. Out of all his starts, his worst run was when he ran third at his first start. He’s run first or second in every other start.”
After being beaten on debut, Papi Go Fast reeled off nine straight provincial victories over distances from 311m to 440m and stepped up to 500m for first time just over a month ago.
Amazingly, Papi Go Fast only opened his city account three days before the Silver Chief heats with a 30.07s midweek victory at The Meadows.
He then backed up to lead all-the-way from box four in his heat, improving significantly on the clock to post 29.83s as he defeated favourite Music Event by three lengths.
WATCH: Papi Go Fast win his heat of the Silver Chief from box four.
The son of Fernando Bale will exit the rails alley for just the second time on Saturday and Camilleri acknowledges connections will know their fate very early in proceedings, with box speed undeniably Papi Go Fast’s version of David’s giant-slaying slingshot.
“We’ll know our chances in the first couple of strides,” Camilleri offered.
“Drawing box one is going to help but he’s got to use it. Our only chance is if he gets out in front highballing.
“It’s a very even race. There are some nice pups in the race and there’s no way on God’s earth he can run any of them down.
“I don’t want to jinx him but he’s jumped brilliantly in most of his starts and he ran the quickest first section in the heats (5.00s).
“If we’re lucky enough for him to come out like he did last week he’ll give us and his owners a huge thrill. If they catch him, they catch him. It’s in the lap of the gods.”
LISTEN: Rob Camilleri joined Matt Nevett, Nick Quinn and Molly Haines on RSN Central’s Off The Leash to talk all things Papi, including how he got his name.