Day At The Track

The success rolls on for The Bus

10:33 AM 23 Jan 2019 NZDT
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The Bus, harness racing
All the way home: The Guy Chapple-driven The Bus come down the outside to win Heat 4.
Peter Mac Photography

With impeccable form going into the final, The Bus, a four-year-old Art Major-Rondel Franco horse will look the early race favourite.

After winning The Pub Group Gold Nugget last Thursday night and setting a new track record of 1.56.10 for the 1980 metres, The Bus then contested the Furney’s Stock Feeds Tamworth Golden Guitar Heat 4 with success last Sunday night.

Trained by Mark Jones The Bus has been carefully looked after by Singleton Heights caretaker trainer Aaron Goadsby, who is looking for the “golden double” - The $10,000 Pub Group Gold Nugget plus the $25,000 Hygain Golden Guitar Final.

If The Bus wins on Thursday night that will make it three wins in eight days with the horse’s owners Grant and Kathy Hatton being trackside in Tamworth, after travelling from their home in Christchurch NZ to witness all their horses runs.

“He is a very strong horse and he can be driven with the speed on or he can take the sit, but we will have to wait and see how the Final pans out,” stated reinsman Guy Chapple who will once again take the reins behind The Bus.

Chapple is no stranger to winning Golden Guitar Finals himself and is knocking on the door of his third win in the Listed Classic race.

The 2013 running saw Chapple take the win with the Shane Tritton trained Mach Beauty with his first success coming behind Neil Shannon in 2006.

“I would like to look up the heats to see how many of those I have won over the years,” joked Chapple.

In his heat from the seven barrier, Chapple let The Bus settle into stride racing three back on the outside running line before making a three-wide run around the field as they turned into the home straight on the first occasion.

The Bus placed race pressure on Maitland pacer Ashark for the majority of the 1980 metre journey before achieving a half neck win over the Melanie Elder trained and Brad Elder driven Ashark who was the race favourite.

Tamworth pacer Pure Laughter (Danny Mackney) was 16 metres away third.

“He is a strong little horse- strong as a bull - if I had of let him rip at the half, he would have broken their hearts but we wanted to try and get him into the final,” Chapple said.

Quarters were covered in 31.2sec; 29.9sec;28.7sec; 29.1 seconds and the mile rate of 1.57.9 recorded.

By Julie Maughan

Reprinted with permission of the Northern Daily Leader

 
 
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