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Chappenden raises the bat in dramatic fashion

Catch up on the week’s harness racing action in our weekly review, thanks to Darren Clayton.



Coming out of a week of torrential rain in the Tamborine region, Easter has proven to be the ideal tonic for the Dixon stable.

Kicking off one win behind in the State title, 10 wins for the week and a lean week for the Butler stable has seen the Black & White Army charge back into the premier position.

The week was headlined by trebles at three meetings and multiple wins to loyal stable clients.

Landing a treble on Tuesday at The Creek, the day started with success when two-year-old Leap To Fame franked his effort in the Changeover Classic with an all-the-way win.

The other two legs of the Tuesday treble were recorded with the former Kiwi in Chevron We Trust who was second-up in Queensland, and the speedy mare Nimah Franco.

It was a successful week for owners Greg and Sharon Mitchell, with their GSM Racing scoring four victories across the week - including a Tuesday double - all trained by Grant Dixon.

Wednesday night saw the stable land another treble, with one win each for the Dixon’s three biggest clients - Solid Earth, GSM Racing and Dr John Mammino.

One Off started the night when scoring a gritty win for GSM Racing, driven by Chloe Butler to an eight-metre success.

Signor Jujon came next, the Dr Mammino-owned four-year-old overcoming the outside of the front line to score a deserved win after finishing as the runner-up at his past four in succession.

The third and final triumph came via three-year-old Captains Pick, a Captaintreacherous gelding for the Seymour-managed Solid Earth.

Sir Jujon was the lone winner for the stable at Redcliffe on Thursday, with owner Dr Mammino continuing his great run of recent times with the four-year-old scoring his seventh career win.

The winning week for the Dixon stable was rounded out with a metropolitan treble at The Creek on Saturday night.

Stompem was the first winner for the night, with the GSM Racing-owned seven-year-old powering home late to claim the veteran’s race and break a winless streak in claiming his first win of the season.

Four-year-old mare Fond Memories was returning from a spell in the mare’s qualifier when overcoming gate seven to score a strong victory and pass $100,000 in stakes earnings for owners Solid Earth.


Completing the perfect ten for the week - in race ten - was the trotter Musculus.

Owned by Arbit Each Wa and managed by Dixon’s Tamborine neighbour Jeroen Nieuwenburg, Musculus charged home in the closing stages for a stylish victory.



Heading into Sunday night’s race meeting at Redcliffe, young driver Zac Chappenden was sitting precariously on 99 career race wins.

Win number 99 had arrived on Wednesday night at Redcliffe with Risky Buziness when claiming a passing lane victory.

With only one other race drive that night, the triple figure milestone would be on-hold.

Just like a cricketer in the nervous 90s, the triple figure result seemed an elusive target to wrangle.

With six drives at Redcliffe on Thursday, four at Albion Park on Friday and another three at headquarters on Saturday, it seemed to be getting out of reach.

After three luckless attempts at Redcliffe on Sunday night for the breakthrough, Chappenden was able to steer Beyond A Shadow first past the post in race six.

Finally, the ton was up. Or was it?

Following an incident at about the 250-metre point that had checked Rayong Princess who had tried to take a run as Beyond A Shadow drifted up the track, a protest was lodged against the winner.

Stewards concurred that Rayong Princess had suffered interference that would have cost her winning the race and the numbers were amended.

Stuck on 99 race wins, Chappenden was denied the 100 and to rub some salt into the wound, was issued a suspension for his part in causing the interference.



The elusive 100-race win milestone may have been denied in race six, however young reinsman Zac Chappenden was able to dust off the disappointment to re-scale the heights of success just two races later.

Almost exactly two years to the day following his first race drive, Chappenden chalked up his 100th race win when successful aboard the Lacey Hinze-trained Risky Buziness.

Having his first race start on April 10, 2019 aboard Aroona when finishing third, fast forward to April 11, 2021, Zac was able to reach triple figures with an all-the way victory.

The win ensured Zac was maintained a perfect 100% winning strike-rate aboard Risky Buziness, with two wins from two starts aboard the gelding.



Redcliffe | Redcliffe Peninsula Harness Racing & Sporting Club | 9:00 PM


With a steady opening season in the sulky, season 19/20 was the breakout season for Chappenden, reaching several highlights for the term.

That included victory in the 2020 BOTRA Young Drivers Championship at just his first attempt, where he scored a decisive 20-point victory in the Series.

That Series also signalled the first Saturday night success at Albion Park for Chappenden when steering Sam Is Perfection to victory.

Another highlight was his maiden Group 1 race drive when taking the reins behind Jaziah in the QBRED Triad Final for two-year-old fillies - finishing a game 3rd behind Jasper after a tough run.

It has been a solid start to the current season for Zac, with his latest victory taking his tally to 29 winners.

That has him in third place in the Concession Drivers Title and ninth in the open State Drivers Title.

As the opportunities continue to expand for the young reinsman, more milestones will be on the horizon as Zac continues to forge his own path as a harness racing driver.



The 2021 yearling sales may have been completed in Queensland, but the last big yearling sale for the season was conducted in Victoria across the weekend.

The inaugural Nutrien Standardbred Yearling Sale held at Melbourne’s Oaklands Junction saw 294 lots catalogued with 269 offered for sale.

After returning to the training ranks in mid-2020, Shannon Price was active at the sale under the banner of Raboki.

Purchasing three lots from the sale, Raboki purchased two pacing colts and a trotting colt.

A sum of $100,000 was required to take home lot 88, a Captaintreacherous colt out of the Group 1-winning mare Musical Delight.

A 100% producer at stud, her second foal - Beach Music - placed third in the NSW Oaks back in February.

The other pacing colt secured by Raboki was by American Ideal out of the six-time winner Flying Mcpocket with $46,000 the winning bid.

Picking up the only Dreamcatcher trotting colt in the sale, $10,000 was the required bid to secure the first foal of the dam Bigonluck.

While the Raboki team have not had many starters step out thus far in season 2021, they continue to build strongly for the future.



Following on from the six race meetings held last week, five TAB meetings will be complemented with show racing this coming week.

Albion Park will host meetings on Tuesday and Friday afternoons alongside the Saturday night metropolitan fixture.

Redcliffe will race in the Wednesday night and Thursday afternoon timeslots, with the Wednesday meeting a strong ten-race card.

Show racing will also be a highlight with the Toowoomba Show on Friday and Saturday.

Friday will see the heats and Final of the Glenvale Cup, and Saturday hosting the heats and Final of the Toowoomba Cup, with another opportunity to progress to the Showcase Finals at Redcliffe in June.

At The Creek, Tuesday will see heats of the Australian Pacing Gold for the three-year-old colts and geldings as well as for the fillies.

There are two heats for the boys and one for the girls, and for the eventual winner, a spot in the $350,000 National Final at Melton on May 29 awaits.

Those that do not progress to the big Final can still chase the riches locally, with a $50,000 mixed sex consolation to be held at Albion Park on the same night.

Saturday night will be the first of the Ultimate Tools sponsored two-year-old events for the season.

Popular last season for the juveniles, Ultimate Tools will provide a rug and trophy to the winning connections and $250 to the winning trainer and driver.

Winning trainers also receive a $500 voucher.