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    From the winners’ circle to eating dirt From the winners’ circle to eating dirt

    UPS AND DOWNS: Dean Chapple tasted both at Tamworth during the week.

    DEAN Chapple tasted the highs and lows – in a big way – at Thursday’s Tamworth harness meeting. Chapple enjoyed a win in taking... From the winners’ circle to eating dirt

    DEAN Chapple tasted the highs and lows – in a big way – at Thursday’s Tamworth harness meeting.

    Chapple enjoyed a win in taking out the opening event on the program before being involved in a race fall in the fifth race.

    The Ringmaster, who began from the one barrier, trained and driven by Chapple, blundered and fell not long after barrier rise in the Hazell’s Farm & Fertilizer Services Pace.

    “It was my first day as a professional trainer and my worst day ever,” said the Moonbi horseman.

    “The fall itself was okay but when my second runner in the race (Marni White) hit me from behind that’s when the kayos happened.”

    The Ringmaster was the only horse to fall.

    Chapple remarkably was cleared of any injuries and his horse The Ringmaster escaped with grazing to his knees.

    “For the amount of time that I have been around in races that was probably one of the worst, but I got up and walked away: I’m pretty lucky,” said Chapple.

    “The horse just grazed his knee and will fight on in another race.

    “What I thought was going to be a good day turned into a horrible 24 hours.

    “I didn’t now how I would be when I woke up the next day but surprisingly, I only felt a little bit stiff.

    “The fall certainly ended my day off on the track.”

    With 15 horses in work and children Jack and Elly leaving home, Chapple has decided to turn professional with the training and driving, with his wife Julie as his back-up.

    “I thought it was getting a bit hectic at home with the number of horses in work and the kids have left home, so I thought its time to turn professional,” said Chapple.

    Elly Chapple is studying at Newcastle University but is still engaged in harness racing with the 20-year-old driving winners in the Hunter Valley including a win at Bankstown on Monday with the Tiarn Sutton-trained Taramin.

    Meanwhile 16-year-old Jack Chapple is working for the successful Bernie Hewitt stables at Bathurst and already has six wins on the board.

    It was Dean Chapple’s ‘outside’ drive behind the Jamie Donovan-trained Straytothepoolroom that secured him a winner at the meeting.

    “I don’t drive for Jamie too often but he called me out of the blue with the offer to drive the horse,” said Chapple.

    “The horse ran a nice time for that class, I thought.

    “Jamie does a good job with his horses and they all present well.

    “He had five starters on Thursday and ended up training a winning double.

    “Before the race Jamie told me the horse only goes the one bat speed-wise, but I just rated him out in front and ran the others off their legs.

    Donovan secured his second training win for the day with I’m Plain Jane, driven by Tom Ison, scoring a head win over Manic Mia (Anthony Varga) with Bated Breather (Blake Hughes) a metre away third.

    Ison had another impressive day at the Tamworth meeting, driving three winners – one for the Donovan stables along with Special Ned trained by his father Andy before securing a training and driving win with his own horse Country Major.

    • JULIE MAUGHAN

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