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Maitland trainer Mitch Chapple is about to tackle his first Tamworth Harness Racing Club January carnival and is in the thick of it straight up. On Wednesday night, Chapple has Burning Ambition engaged in the $10,000 Pub Group Gold Nugget where the winner takes home a gold nugget as the trophy. At the tender age of 20, Chapple only gained his trainer’s licence back in early December and has trained three winners since then – two with Burning Ambition and one with Derringer. “It is the biggest race that I have nominated in but I’m looking at it as just another race at this stage,” Chapple said. “It would be a quick trip back home if we won it though.” Burning Ambition has seen the Tamworth Paceway on numerous occasions and that adds another shade of confidence for the stables. “She [Burning Ambition] is in the right class and is going pretty well so thought we would have a crack at it,” said Chapple of the Gold Nugget. “She has had a second and a couple of wins at Tamworth – she likes Tamworth.” Chapple has engaged fellow Maitland harness identity Brad Elder to take the drive. “Brad is taking the drive – he is driving good at the moment and drove a Group 3 winner last week so he is in fine form,” he said. “He loves Tamworth at the moment – I don’t think there is a meeting lately he hasn’t driven a winner at.” The Pub Group Gold Nugget had 31 nominations for the prestigious race with HRNSW handicappers selecting 10 runners. “It is a fairly competitive race but we have raced against them before so she will be right into it,” Chapple said. Burning Ambition has drawn barrier four. “Hopefully we can slide across from that draw and look for a forward position,” Chapple said. The Chapple name has featured before on the Gold Nugget Honour Board with Chapple’s father Guy having success over the years. “Dad has won a Gold Nugget with Remember Rusty [in 2007] as well as a Tamworth Cup and a Golden Guitar Final,” Chapple said. “We will contest the nugget and hopefully the Garrard’s Tamworth City Cup the following week with Burning Ambition. “I am aiming Derringer and The Puritan for the Golden Guitar heats on the Sunday.” In the Gold Nugget, Chapple said anyone could win the race but named Shadow Runner and Captain Rockey as the main dangers.  Julie Maughan Reprinted with permission of The Northern Daily Leader

ON Monday October 31, 2016, Harness Racing New South Wales Stewards commenced an investigation into the apparent administration of a medication to the registered standardbred A MATTER OF COURSE which was engaged to race at the Newcastle meeting that day.  That horse was subsequently scratched from the race by order of Stewards. On that night evidence was taken from Mr G Chapple, the licensed trainer of the horse A MATTER OF COURSE, Mr M Chapple who attended the horse, the Official Starter and the raceday Veterinary Surgeon.  Samples were taken from A MATTER OF COURSE for analysis as well a jar of ointment that was confiscated.  Analysis by the Australian Racing Forensic Laboratory confirmed the prohibited substance menthol was detected in the sample taken from A MATTER OF COURSE.  By letter on April 18, 2017, Stewards notified Mr Chapple of charges laid against him. By email on Friday, April 28, 2017, through his legal representative, Mr Chapple pleaded guilty to the charges and provided detailed submissions in respect to penalty. On Monday, May 23, 2017, HRNSW Stewards convened to consider the submissions entered on the trainer’s behalf and to determine the penalties in the matters. Charge 1 – Pursuant to HRR 192(1) and (3) which state: (1)  No person, unless he has first obtained the permission of the Stewards, shall have in his possession either on a racecourse or in any motor vehicle or trailer being used for the purpose of travelling to or from a racecourse any prohibited substance or a syringe, needle or other instrument which could be used – (3)  A person who fails to comply with sub rule (1) or with a term or condition imposed under sub rule (2) is guilty of an offence. The Stewards announced a fine of $500. Charge 2 – Pursuant to HRR 193 (3), (6) & (8) which state: (3)  A person shall not administer or allow or cause to be administered any medication to a horse on race day prior to such horse running in a race. (6)  For the purposes of this Rule, medication means any treatment with drugs or other substances. (8)  A person who fails to comply with sub-rules (1), (2), (3) or (7) is guilty of an offence. Mr G Chapple admitted instructing his son, driver Mr M Chapple, to apply medication to the horse on race day. The Stewards announced Mr G Chapple be disqualified for a period of six (6) months. Charge 3 – Pursuant to Rules 190 (1), (2) & (4): (1)  A horse shall be presented for a race free of prohibited substances. (2)  If a horse is presented for a race otherwise than in accordance with sub rule (1) the trainer of the horse is guilty of an offence. (4)  An offence under sub rule (2) or sub rule (3) is committed regardless of the circumstances in which the prohibited substance came to be present in or on the horse. The Stewards announced Mr G Chapple be disqualified for a period of six (6) months. In determining these penalties the Stewards noted Mr Chapple’s pleas, his previous disciplinary record, the circumstances of the offence and the subjectives advanced on his behalf, including his cooperation with and before the Stewards. The Stewards ordered that this penalty be served concurrently with the penalty announced in regards to Charge 2. Stewards also ordered that the penalty take effect from midnight Tuesday, May 23, 2017.  Mr G Chapple was advised of his right to appeal the decisions of Stewards. Mr Mitch Chapple – Inquiry Concluded FURTHER to the proceedings at Newcastle on October 31, 2017, Mr M Chapple was notified by letter details dated April 18, 2017, of a charge laid against him. By email on Friday, April 28, 2017, through his legal representative, Mr Chapple pleaded guilty to the charges and provided detailed submissions in regards to penalty. On Monday, May 23, 2017, HRNSW Stewards convened to consider the submission entered on Mr M Chapple’s behalf and to determine a penalty in the matter. Charge 1 – Pursuant to HRR 193 (3), (6) & (8) (3)  A person shall not administer or allow or cause to be administered any medication to a horse on race day prior to such horse running in a race. (6)  For the purposes of this Rule, medication means any treatment with drugs or other substances. (8)  A person who fails to comply with sub-rules (1), (2), (3) or (7) is guilty of an offence. Before Stewards Mr M Chapple had admitted applying medication, being a chest rub ointment, to the horse, A MATTER OF COURSE on the race day and prior to racing.  The Stewards announced a penalty of a fine of $1000 of which $500 was ordered be suspended on the proviso that Mr M Chapple not be found guilty of a breach of any of the rules relating to prohibited substances within a period of 12 months from this date. In determining this penalty the Stewards noted Mr Chapple’s plea, his previous good disciplinary record, the particular circumstances of the offence, as acting under the direction of his parent being the horse’s trainer, and the subjectives advanced on his behalf, including his (young) age and cooperation with and before the Stewards. Mr M Chapple was advised of his right to appeal the decision of the Stewards. MICHAEL PRENTICE | INTEGRITY MANAGER (02) 9722 6600 •  mprentice@hrnsw.com.au GRAHAM LOCH | CHAIRMAN OF STEWARDS (02) 9722 6600 •  gloch@hrnsw.com.au

Mitchell Chapple has had the best work experience week you could ever dream of. Chapple, from Maitland accompanied Ellalong harness racing trainer Michael Formosa to Queensland for the Winter Carnival to be an extra work hand. “Mick offered me the trip to help out around the horses and I have gained a lot of experience and met a lot of great people. We stayed at Shannon Price’s property and it is a brilliant set up, awesome” said Chapple. It soon turned from work experience to a winning drive when Chapple jumped at the opportunity, when offered by Michael Formosa, to take the drive behind Mondo Seelster at the Redcliffe meeting last Wednesday. With the track unknown to Chapple he drove a perfect race to have a one hundred percent winning strike rate. “It was pretty good, the horse (Mondo Seelster) was travelling well but I thought when the leader got away he might have been hard to catch but the horse dug deep” Floweronthewall led the field with Mondo Seelster racing three back on the pegs. Chapple extricated Mondo Seelster off the pegs in the back straight and powered three wide around the last bend for a 3m win over race favourite Floweronthewall with Jack Frost a half head away third. From nine drives behind Mondo Seelster, Chapple has produced three wins and four placings. “We are a combination now,” Chapple joked. Mitch is the son of Hunter Valley reinsman Guy Chapple and there may be a slight touch of competition in the future between the two. “Dad has driven two winners in Queensland,’ said Chapple, so there may well be a return trip for Chapple junior. It was only two days later that Mitch Chapple was offered a drive at Albion Park behind the Steve Cini trained All About Art. “Mum (Ange) owns a part share in All About Art and he had hit his mark in NSW so we sent him to Queensland to race.” There was no pressure for young Chapple with All About Art finishing fourth to Isaac in the Hear All The Action Radio Pace.   “They were all happy we got a run and I was driving. “It was the best experience, I learnt not only from Mick but learning from other people around me and driving on different tracks is an experience I am glad I had.” But it will be a reality check for 17 yo Chapple when he lands back home in Maitland. “I am back to College on Thursday.” Greg Hayes

Harness Racing was one of 26 sports recognised for development of participants at the Hunter Academy of Sports Presentation Night held at Newcastle University yesterday. Mitchell Chapple, Aleisha Bond, Maddie Bond, Mitchell Frost, Brad Elder, Dan Morgan and Jackson McDonald received certificates as members of the first group to complete the courses. The subjects included Public Speaking, Motivation Talks, Fitness, and Personal Development along with an informative talk on integrity by Deputy Chairman of Stewards Chris Paul. The late Ross Gigg, who was always a great believer in developing the youth, was a major contributor to initiating the programme and Newcastle Harness Club President Mr Jim Bell presented a trophy to Dan Morgan in honour of Ross. It will be an annual award. Dan Morgan also took out the Newcastle University Scholarship. CEO of Hunter Academy of Sport, Mr Ken Clifford, mentioned that a recent meeting of the state’s academy’s, interest had been shown to develop the programme in other regions with Wagga, Bathurst and Tamworth making further enquires. Harness Racing New South Wales           

The Newcastle Harness Racing club has been working with the Hunter Academy of Sport for a number of weeks and are pleased to announce the launch of the first Harness Racing Academy development programme. The Hunter Academy of Sport was formed after an initial meeting on the 21st of January, 1987, between a panel of government, university, councils, community, science and sporting representatives and since its launch in 1988 the Hunter Academy of Sport has successfully developed various aspects of regional sport. They are renowned for its innovative sports programme which covers a wide range of athletes and sports. Today the Hunter Academy of Sport is the largest regional Academy in Australia with some 600 talented young sports people from the region now participating in approximately 30 different talent development programs. They have access to some of the highest profile sports administrators in the land to run their programmes. They have offered to run a fully encompassing development programme for our promising junior harness racing participants. The programme will include items such as, strength and fitness, injury treatment, ethics in sport, nutrition, public speaking, finance, law/rules, dealing with the media, sports psychology and personal development. The programme will commence on the 22nd February. Newcastle CEO Ross Gigg said "To have the Hunter Academy of Sport offer to run this programme for our sport is fantastic. The development programme will not only help our young men and women in harness racing but in their everyday life as well. We are very excited to be able to offer this programme to our first invitees all of who have just started or are about to start their careers in the seniors harness racing ranks" The inaugural inductees are. Daniel Morgan - 17 years from Maitland. Mitchell Frost -17 years from Elermore Vale. Brad Elder - 15 years from Maitland. Mitchell Chapple -16 years from Maitland Jackson McDonald -16 years from Fullerton Cove. Maddie Bond -15 years from Maitland. Aleisha Bond -14 years from Maitland. Nancy O'Grady | Executive Assistant | Harness Racing New South Wales |      

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