“I AM struggling this morning, for sure!”
That was the response from Moonbi trainer-driver Dean Chapple after celebrating his stable’s significant win on Tuesday evening at Tamworth Paceway.
Chapple and his pacer Hay There Joe took out the $12,000 Pub Group Gold Nugget.
“We had a few drinks to celebrate when we got home. The team had a great night,” said Chapple.
Hay There Joe was superior in his race efforts in taking out the 1980m feature and procuring the gold nugget trophy for Sydney-based owner Andrew Maher.
It was the second time Chapple had won the Gold Nugget race but 12 years on . . . and the win of Hay There Joe held quite a significance.
“I won the race before on Churchill Bromac in 2012 as a reinsman but this time round it was my first as a trainer and the driver,” said Chapple, who cited Hay There Joe as “a real gentleman.”
“He is a great horse to do anything with. I have had him for eight starts and he has now had five wins for me,” said Chapple.
Hay There Joe, a four-year-old Roll With Joe-Charlies System gelding, has had a total of 14 starts for six wins and comes to the north west stable after beginning his racing career in Victoria.
The barrier draw of seven saw Hay There Joe come off the second line, behind the one barrier which was occupied by Queensland pacer Majordoit from the Tim Gillespie stables.
“Going into the race I had all the faith that the one horse would hold up but then I was happy to see Sonic Express (Sam Ison) go to the lead,” explained Chapple.
“I was happy as I knew he (Sonic Express) would keep going and not stop.”
Hay There Joe raced contently three back on the inside until Chapple gained a split racing out of the final turn.
When Majordoit (Michael Formosa) came out three wide at the 400 mark I knew I had a chance,” said Chapple.
“Halfway around the final turn I thought this was our Nugget.
“I knew not many horses would be coming off his back (Hay There Joe) as he has got a great turn of foot.
“I did get a little carried away with the salute and I was relieved when the all-clear came through.”
Hay There Joe won by six metres from Sonic Express with Broadways Girl (Anthony Varga) 6.4m away third.
The mile rate for the 1980m distance was 1.58.4.
“I went to the meeting with six horses and finished with the Nugget win and two seconds and a third with my son Jack handling the minor placings for me,” grinned Chapple.
“The January race carnival here at Tamworth is always good.
“The meetings don’t disappoint and my team is starting to fire up at the right time.”
The next start for Hay There Joe will be in a heat of the Golden Guitar on Sunday evening at Tamworth with a view to contesting the $50,000 Final on Friday, January 26.
“I have won a couple of heats of the Golden Guitar in the past but not a final. I have always been close but not close enough.”
- JULIE MAUGHAN