Moonbi reinsman Dean Chapple had another stupendous day with the reins at Tamworth, driving three winners on Thursday afternoon.
Chapple kick-started his day with a dominant drive behind the Tony Missen-trained Shadow Boxing, in the Portable Horse Stables Pace.
Having a brilliant start from barrier nine, off the second row, Chapple wasted no time in having Shadow Boxing racing up outside leader Im Sugar Coated (Leigh Sutton) from the Clayton Harmey stables.
“He went good today [Thursday],” was how Chapple summed up the run of Shadow Boxing who was resuming from a spell, with his last start back in August, 2018.
The win was the first leg of a training double for the Missen stables.
“It was our plan to follow through but we didn’t want to be outside the leader, but that’s the way it ended up,” said Chapple.
“One of the hopple shorteners got caught up so he (Shadow Boxing) didn’t have it all his own way, but he went good,” he added, referring to a gear malfunction.
“We always thought he would be a nice horse and Tony has done a massive job with the fella.”
After taking the race up to I’m Sugar Coated, Chapple elected to shuffle Shadow Boxing along from the 400-metre mark – only to be joined by Jakes Ark (Brad Eder), from the Jarred Hetherington stables at Narrabri, as they rounded the final turn into the home straight.
“Horses that have got high speed like him (Shadow Boxing) are always going to go places – he fought on good today,” said Chapple.
After both pacers fought for supremacy down the home straight, Shadow Boxing took the 1980m race by a short half head over Jakes Ark, with Double Martini (Lola Weidemann) 6.5m away in third.
Raced by Greg and Judy McDonell, along with Bob Peterson, Shadow Boxing had a personal best mile rate of 1min .59.2sec for the 1980m.
Chapple then picked up his second win – in a race he was flattered to win, the Tamworth HRC Old Boys Day Pace – with Summer Money from the Peter Shepherdson stables.
“It was good to win the Old Boys Pace,” stated Chapple. “I have driven a winner or two for a few of them, and the best thing is it is good to see them all back again and on the track.”
“I have had two drives for the Shepherdson stables and they have both been winners,” added Chapple of his strike rate for the Narrabri-based stables.
Ifoundthebeach (Stacey Weidemann), from the Weidemann stables, had command of the race, out in the lead from the one barrier, with Summer Money on the leader’s back.
As Ifoundthebeach turned into the home straight, Chapple gained a split on the home turn, with Summer Money showing speed racing down the home straight to gain the win by a metre over Ifoundthebeach. What A Flight (Scotty-Jon Welsh) was seven metres away third – with the 1980m contested in 1.59.8
“I have been following the horse (Summer Money) and I thought if he put his best foot forward – he would be alright and get a good run,” said Chapple. “I thought he was in the race with a chance.”
Chapple then rounded his day out in taking out the Sam Ison Memorial with another of the Missen stable runners, Sammy Seelster, who is thriving in his new stable in the country music capital.
The former Dubbo pacer has had four starts for the Tamworth stables, for three wins, with Missen racing the gelding along with stable foreman Stan Allan.
“Its been a great day,” said Chapple after the win in the memorial race. “I have won the Sam Ison Memorial race for two years in a row now.”
Chapple drove the Graham Moon-trained Gotta Go Rockin to a win in the 2018 running of the race.
“Sam was a good old fella and he has left his mark with his grandchildren that are driving, so it’s a pleasure to win the race,” he said.
For his efforts in taking out the Sam Ison Memorial, Chapple picked up The Pub Group Drive of the Day.
Hedges Avenue (Mitch Faulkner) led the field, with Sammy Seelster, who had commenced from the nine barrier, strategically placed on the inside running line, before commencing a three-wide run around the field on the final turn for home.
It was a fight to the line, with Sammy Seelster having a duel with Jimmy The Editor (Leigh Sutton), before beating Jimmy The Editor by half a head. Hedges Avenue was six metres away in third, with Sammy Seelster’s mile rate of 1.56.8 for the 1980m.
Sammy Seelster paid $34 for the win.