Day At The Track

Chapple backs Roclea Star to shine

02:38 AM 26 May 2019 NZST
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Guy Chapple, harness racing
Guy Chapple

Maitland father-and-son harness racing team Guy and Mitch Chapple believe Roclea Star is the best pacer in his NSW Breeders Challenge heat at Newcastle on Saturday night.

Roclea Star will start from the widest barrier in nine in the two-year-old colts and geldings heat. Two 2YO fillies heats of the group 1 series will also be held.

My Ultimate Bondi, for visiting trainer-driver Jarrod Alchin, was the favourite for the male heat after winning easily on debut at Newcastle on May 11 and drawing gate one.

Roclea Star has the edge in experience after seven races for one win and a last-start second in the Gold Crown Yearling Sale Graduate Final at Bathurst in April 17.

Guy Chapple, who will drive Roclea Star for his son, Mitch, was confident of a top-two finish and a place in semi-finals at Menangle.

"He's the one to beat but I think mine is a better horse," Guy said of My Ultimate Bondi. "Mine's raced the best at Bathurst and had to sit outside the leader, and he might have to do the same this week.

"But he certainly hasn't gone backwards. He's definitely improved since the freshen-up."

Roclea Star has had no recent luck in barrier draws but Chapple was hoping for a better start from out wide.

"It probably suits him out there because he's got a ton of gate speed and from the inside you can't muster that quickly," he said.

"We'll go forward and we'll press to try and get the lead."

In the second fillies heat, Chapple will fill in for the injured Andrew Bourke in driving long-shot Illgiveuadaisyaday for Chris Bourke.

By Craig Kerry

Reprinted with permission of The Newcastle Herald

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