DEAN Chapple has donned his own blinkers with stablemates Gracious Belle and Princess Zara P.
Both pacers are on target for the Inner City Pace at Maitland and the feature Golden Guitar during Tamworth’s County Music Week in January and the two have drawn nicely in today’s 1609MS Five Season Racing December 27 Pace at Tamworth – Gracious Belle, to be driven by Chapple himself, has drawn one while Princess Zara P will come from three under the guidance of Chapple’s brother, Guy Chapple.
Also representing the Moonbi stable will be Lots of Giggles (1609MS Harness Racing Travelworld Pace), Shine On Wicklow (1609ms A4E Australia Pace), last start winners Sissiesmasterpiece (Dean) and Chilli Ice Maiden (Guy) in the 1609MS Farewell Julie Staples Pace, and Justanother (Dean) and Pocket The Shilling (Guy) in the longer 2360MS Welcome Karen Fox THRC Administration Manager Pace.
Fresh from his 10-day cruise of the Pacific Islands with wife Julie, Chapple is keen to return to the winners’ circle today.
And he could just have the horsepower to do that, not only with his Golden Guitar hopefuls Gracious Belle and Princess Zara, but also with Sissiesmasterpiece and Chilli Ice Maiden. Gracious Belle though will need to improve on her recent form, including her latest when she swung sideways at the start and took no competitive part at Tamworth in October.
“She tends to play up a bit - missed the start in a final at Menangle, then did a few things wrong at Newcastle. But she’s won in 58.0sec at Tamworth,” Chapple said.
“I’ve always had high hopes for Zara, but things haven’t really gone our way lately.”
The six-year-old won Newcastle (2030MS) and Tamworth (1980MS) back to back in September, then spelled after finishing last at Tamworth (R7 or better) October 28.
“Sissiesmasterpiece has been ultra-consistent since coming here, winning three and placing heaps of times from about 12 starts.
“The race will probably be fast up front, too fast for Sissie and Chilli, so they’ll both sit back and have a last crack at them.”
Chapple will also be looking to Justanother and Pocket The Shilling to go well. “Justanother’s been consistent (win and four placings from last five). The barrier’s good (2) and the longer distance will suit. He’ll just race up on the pace. He’s a good chance.”
But despite Pocket The Shilling boasting a last start victory (over 1980MS at Tamworth), Chapple believes the five-year-old mare will need luck from the nine gate.