ONE conversation with Steve Chapman and it becomes blatantly obvious he loves harness racing.
During an interview to his discuss his Group One prospects at Gloucester Park tonight, Chapman was just as eager to talk about the first horse he owned almost three decades ago!
Again trying to divert the topic back to this evening, Chapman was keen to reminisce about his first taste of Group One competition.
“The second horse we owned Franco Parker gave us our first Group One when he won the Golden Slipper,” Chapman recalled. “We still laugh about that night as we were stoked to be in a Group One, but even more stoked to get an invite for a free dinner in the board room.
“My wife Tina and I have owned about 100 horses since then and enjoy watching every one of them go around.
“It’s very family orientated and our kids are in the horses with us. When it comes to the plans on when and where we have to be for a race, Tina organises the whole lot…she loves it too!”
As for tonight, the Chapmans have three runners engaged on the program, including Harry Hoo which is a solid chance in the $125,000 McInerney Ford Classic after drawing well in barrier three.
A member of the powerful Gary Hall stable, Harry Hoo is unbeaten from two starts this season, having also won his last outing before being sent for a spell in July.
“He is a nice horse, which is improving all the time, but this is a step up for him,” Chapman said. “On paper three isn’t a bad draw, but it could prove tricky as there is a lot of speed around him.”
The Chapmans also have Overboard Again in the McInerney Ford Classic Consolation, with the son of American Ideal to begin from gate two.
“He’s lightly-raced having only had 15 starts, but the ability it there,” Chapman said. “He will go well and can hopefully kick the night off on a big note.”
To Chapman’s dismay, his Inter Dominion representative Run Oneover has received a draw Hall described as “no man’s land”.
“The draw couldn’t have been crueller to him,” Chapman said. “Barrier nine makes it beyond tough.
“If he’d drawn to lead he would have been in it for a long way…now we’re just hoping for luck.
“Hopefully he can get a better draw at Bunbury in the second round over 2100 metres.”
- PAUL COURTS