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Novice to Derby for Chairman Jack

By Isaac Murphy

Chairman Jack went around a $15 shot in last Thursday nights Novice, a grade he had tried and failed at his previous five starts, 29.99 seconds later a relieved Peter McBlane had his first ever city winner and a live chance in this Thursday’s Group Two Queensland Derby Heats.

“Even a few months ago the Derby was the Grand Final for him, with his age (23 months) The Derby looked a suitable race and then hopefully onto the Flying Amy if he keeps travelling,” McBlane said.

“It was his always going to be his last chance at the Novice I’d decided I was going to put him in The Derby regardless, but too have him going in with some confidence and getting the $500 trainer, breeders’ bonus, he picked a good time to get it right.”

“The time (29.99) was a pleasant surprise, I thought he would run about 30.2, if he can reproduce that in the heats he’ll give himself a good hope.”

McBlane concedes the dog faces a huge class jump this week but liked his chances out of box six.

“Although he’s got a fairly tough heat, the quality is probably the eight (Sennachie), I’m happy with his draw (6) he tends to run a bit straighter out of the boxes and hopefully he can cross them at the first turn,” He said.

“He’s a young dog still figuring it out, the start is all important and he’s just getting his confidence back when the lids didn’t open when he went to trial a few months ago, which put him on the back foot for a while.”

McBlane bred the unique Buckle Up Wes, Bishop’s Lass litter himself and fellow Taigum trainer Angela Brown has Chairman Jack’s full sister Agame in the Futurity final.

“My partner in crime here is Angela Brown who trains Jack’s Sister Agame who is in the Futurity Final this week, but I do all the breeding myself,” McBlane said.

“The most pleasing thing is we’ve bred the litter, kept the litter and to now see them racing and racing well is really satisfying.”

“The one I’m really excited about is Mungo Barry, he’s just had the two starts in the Vince Curry, but if he can bring his work at home to the track he’s three tenths quicker than Chairman Jack and Agame.”

McBlane began his training career as a twenty-year-old in the seventies, but when juggling trainer and full-time work he had to pull the pin, forty odd years later the trainer is back to his passion putting all of his time into breeding and racing from his Taigum kennel.

“I raced a bitch called Bishop’s Lass when I came back to training, she won just the one race at Albion park, but we bred with her with Buckle Up Wes over Fernando Bale because I didn’t want to go to the commercial sire, but one that would suit the bitch,” McBlain said.

“After so many years off the scene I wanted a litter to race, not sell and Buckle Up Wes has given us that, he’s going great guns down in Tasmania with a bunch of winners lately as well.”

“I couldn’t ask for a better temperament and chasing ability with these pups, they’re only going to improve I’m pretty excited to see how far they can go.”

McBlane named himself and Angela Brown as Team Taigum, with both now training out of the North Brisbane suburb with Brown off to a flying start after recently gaining her trainers license.

“Agame is Angela’s first dog and she’s in a Group Two Final,” he said.

“I wouldn’t write her off either, she jumped well last week and got dragged down at the first corner by Dam Slippery when she looked a real shot.”