Beach Ball looking to bounce back at Addington
By Joshua Smith, Harness News Desk
Kevin Chapman has felt the world has been against him as he prepares his talented three-year-old Beach Ball for spring racing.
The Somebeachsomewhere colt has had an interrupted preparation to date through injury and sickness, and Chapman is hoping the worst is now behind the Group One performer.
“We have had a couple of hiccups along the line, so we are a bit like the piglet on the back tit at the moment,” Chapman quipped.
“We were ready to go and then he hurt a hock. We were aiming for races like the Lazarus and Flying Stakes.
“We then got him back to the workouts and had a quiet one and we were going to build from there, and then he got a virus.
“He is over that now and it is just a case of getting some racing into him. With a horse of his rating, it is very hard, there is nothing much about.”
The Group 1 New Zealand Pacing Derby (2600m) remains Beach Ball’s ultimate goal this preparation and Chapman felt The Peter Cole Mobile Pace (1980m) at Addington Raceway on Friday was his best starting point.
“It is quite a good, quality field on Friday but it is not an ominous field,” said Chapman, who co-bred and co-owns the colt.
“As a rating 73, a lot of the races that he has to go to are against the Cup horses, or the horses just under the Cup.
“We are just trying to find somewhere to start.
“We will still aim him at the Derby, but we are running out of time and suitable races in the lead-up to get some hard racing into him to get him ready for a race of that calibre.
“There is only this race and then a race on Show Day, and then one a week before the Derby. That is all I will have, which is not quite ideal.
“He is a pretty good horse and if we can get there in one piece with no problems, he will be pretty competitive.”
Out of Chapman’s nine-win mare Twilight Rascal, Beach Ball is currently the main flagbearer for his breed, however, there is a yearling colt by his Group One winner Locharburn that he is very excited about.
“I have got a Locharburn colt out of the mare and he is looking like a pretty smart horse too,” Chapman said.
“He is a lovely individual. He broke in well and does everything right. He is a very nice horse.
“Rock Me Gently (half-sister to Beach Ball), her first foal (Field Of Poppies) is with Benny Hill and she won her trial the other day at Methven.
“She is not far away from racing and she (Rock Me Gently) has also got a Locharburn colt that broke in really nice.”