Maitland trainer Mitch Chapple is about to tackle his first Tamworth Harness Racing Club January carnival and is in the thick of it straight up.
On Wednesday night, Chapple has Burning Ambition engaged in the $10,000 Pub Group Gold Nugget where the winner takes home a gold nugget as the trophy.
At the tender age of 20, Chapple only gained his trainer’s licence back in early December and has trained three winners since then – two with Burning Ambition and one with Derringer.
“It is the biggest race that I have nominated in but I’m looking at it as just another race at this stage,” Chapple said.
“It would be a quick trip back home if we won it though.”
Burning Ambition has seen the Tamworth Paceway on numerous occasions and that adds another shade of confidence for the stables.
“She [Burning Ambition] is in the right class and is going pretty well so thought we would have a crack at it,” said Chapple of the Gold Nugget.
“She has had a second and a couple of wins at Tamworth – she likes Tamworth.”
Chapple has engaged fellow Maitland harness identity Brad Elder to take the drive.
“Brad is taking the drive – he is driving good at the moment and drove a Group 3 winner last week so he is in fine form,” he said.
“He loves Tamworth at the moment – I don’t think there is a meeting lately he hasn’t driven a winner at.”
The Pub Group Gold Nugget had 31 nominations for the prestigious race with HRNSW handicappers selecting 10 runners.
“It is a fairly competitive race but we have raced against them before so she will be right into it,” Chapple said.
Burning Ambition has drawn barrier four.
“Hopefully we can slide across from that draw and look for a forward position,” Chapple said.
The Chapple name has featured before on the Gold Nugget Honour Board with Chapple’s father Guy having success over the years.
“Dad has won a Gold Nugget with Remember Rusty [in 2007] as well as a Tamworth Cup and a Golden Guitar Final,” Chapple said.
“We will contest the nugget and hopefully the Garrard’s Tamworth City Cup the following week with Burning Ambition.
“I am aiming Derringer and The Puritan for the Golden Guitar heats on the Sunday.”
In the Gold Nugget, Chapple said anyone could win the race but named Shadow Runner and Captain Rockey as the main dangers.
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