Day At The Track

Chambers' last starter brings a special buzz

10:35 AM 25 Aug 2020 NZST
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Sting Lika Bee,Harness racing
Sting Lika Bee
Gary Wild photo

Ian Chambers is hopeful his debutant at Shepparton today will have a bit of a sting in his tail as the trainer prepares what he anticipates will be his last first starter.

The long-time Kyabram Harness Racing Club administrator unveils Faragalioni in the Barastoc 3YO Maiden Pace, which streams at 6.30pm on Trots Vision.

Regally bred, with his dam a full-sister to Hunter Cup winner Sting Lika Bee (pictured by Gary Wild), Chambers said the gelding would be “my last hurrah”.

“As I stand this will be my last horse,” said Chambers, who’s had a hand in the sport for 55 years. “I have lived in Kyabram for over 50 years but am moving to Geelong in October to make it easier for myself and my daughter.”

It will be an end of an era for Chambers and the Kyabram club, where he has served throughout his time in the township, including nine years as president.

Aged 73, his trots connection began as a 17-year-old driver and though he “changed direction” after marrying Lyn five years later, they enjoyed "a lifetime association with the Kyabram club". 

“I have generally trained one or two myself, but only potted around as a hobbyist,” Chambers said.

“It has always been a passion. I was in the era of horses. My dad had a working team of draught horses, I started going to the races and it just grew and grew. Horses have always been in our DNA.”

But he hasn’t had a starter since May 5 2016, an absence in large part to the sad passing of wife Lyn. It explains why Faragalioni hasn’t debuted before tomorrow night, deep into his three-year-old.

The Grinfromeartoear progeny's been with Chambers since he snapped him up from Lemon Tree Stud breeder Ross Gange in May 2018. And you don’t have to delve too far into the breeding lines to see the attraction.

Faragalioni's name's taken from the three rock formations that sit off the coast of Italy’s Capri island, with the three-year-old’s dam named Foxy Capri, who's “a full-sister to some very, very, very good horses”.

In particular the aforementioned Sting Lika Bee, the 2007 Hunter Cup winner who accumulated $1,042,381 in career stakes.

“He was just a very, very tough horse,” said Chambers, who recalls being there the day Sting Lika Bee was sold at Shepparton sales by Lemon Tree Stud in 1999 for $30,000.

“He was a week old,” Chambers recalled. “That was a good price then.”

The price was fuelled in large part to Stinga Lika Bee (and Foxy Capri’s) full-brother Hi Ho Silverwheels, who won $1,197,987 in the US and would go on to be a stallion of note.

They are good bloodlines from which Chambers’ Faragalioni will launch his career from gate seven tonight, entering off three trials that produced two fifth placings and a last start third.

“His trials have been encouraging (but) he has got a way to go,” Chambers said.

“The barrier draw tomorrow night is no help whatsoever. Over the mile, you nearly have to go back and be better than the rest to go around them. As handy as he is, if he gets a place I would be really happy.”

And Chambers is confident that his “last hurrah” will bring some memorable moments.

“We’ve only got a couple of little things to iron out, but the horse has ability – no doubt about that.

“He certainly has gait speed, except for the trial against Lochinvar Chief he has led in them all and handed up. He has speed and I think he will get stronger, but he’s just got a lot to learn at this stage.”

 

HRV - Michael Howard

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