Levels trainer Murray Tapper who reached the heights of Group One stardom with Stylish Monarch in 2010 and 2011 is now looking to take a backwards step in the sport.
“I plan on relinquishing my public trainers’ licence and just doing my own ones and a couple of outsiders,” confirmed Tapper. “Unless you are someone like Mark Purdon or Cran Dalgety there isn’t a lot of money in harness racing and pressure from owners is high.
“Training horses for owners comes with a lot of pressure as you are playing with their dreams in some respect, and lately I’m not entirely sure that I’ve been doing them justice,” admitted Tapper.
Tapper said that he was now looking to take on a position at mammoth Diary company Fonterra but that nothing had been confirmed as of yet.
“It is time to try something new but harness racing will still be my passion and my hobby.”
Tapper says that while the career of Stylish Monarch, especially his win in the Dominion, has been the clear highlight of his career to date he has also been very lucky to have some other more than handy trotters around him.
“Domination (10 wins) , Phil’s Gift (9 wins) and, to a lesser extent, Not Likely have all done a great job for me and helped keep me a float,” said Tapper.
“Not Likely is owned in Australia and is due to head there later in the month while Phil’s Gift was recently transferred to the stable of Greg & Nina Hope at Woodend Beach.
“I think he (Phil’s Gift) could do a great job there as the straight line beach training should really help him as he is inclined to jar up at times,” explains Tapper.
“He isn’t a million miles from the top ones. He has the speed to match them but just lacks the toughness at this stage, but I think he will get there eventually.”
Tapper said that has agreed to break in five horses for Anne Paterson (Owner of Stylish Monarch) and has recently had Laura Lace served by Christian Cullen.
“So I still have plenty of horses to keep me out of trouble,” he joked.
Laura Lace‘s first foal is Steam Washed (13 wins, 75,000) who Tapper sold to Australia after winning her qualifying trial.
“She won the South Australian Oaks over there and her connections have since been back to buy Laura Lace’s next two foals, so I used some of that money to put her in foal to Christian Cullen as she is related to top Australian youngster Allblack Stride (by Christian Cullen).”
By Mitchell Robertson