Kevin Nipperess with Court Award at his Ballina stables yesterday.
Kevin Nipperess with Court Award at his Ballina stables yesterday.

Trainer chasing the big bucks

By ADAM HICKS sport@northernstar.com.au SEMI-RETIRED Ballina trainer Kevin Nipperess is packing up his horse float and taking two runners to the Central Coast for a shot at big-purse races.

Nipperess leaves tomorrow and will take residence at Wyong racecourse for a month while he prepares promising colt Court Award for two $100,000 races.

First up is the $100,000 Gosford Guineas (1200m) on February 10, when Court Award will face some of the State’s best three-year-old talent.

Court Award has impressed in its four career starts, winning its maiden by five-and-a-half lengths and running 0.6s off the track record over 1000m at Ballina last May.

But Nipperess knows the more prizemoney on offer, the better the horses that chase it.

“It’s big bucks all right if you can pull it off,” he said. “It’s going to be a pretty tough race. We’re going in with a lot of hope and hoping for a lot of luck.

“It’s an open three-year-old race and will attract top runners from Sydney.

“He has measured up to anything we’ve put up to him at this stage.

“Potential wise, he’s equal to the best I’ve had, but he’s not the best horse I’ve had, not at this stage anyhow.”

After nearly 40 years in the business, Nipperess has slowed down a little and now has six runners in his stable.

Court Award is owned by his daughter Jan Robinson, who bought him in the Magic Millions sales on the Gold Coast last year for an undisclosed sum.

He will back up from the Gosford Guineas with a run at Wyong in the $100,000 Magic Millions Three-Year-Old Stakes (1530m) on February 24.

“He’s a better chance in the Wyong race because it’s restricted to horses bought at the Magic Millions sales last year,” Nipperess said.

Court Award’s stable mate Gierloch will also travel south, with Nipperess setting the four-year-old gelding for two $15,000 races.

Gierloch has placed six times from 10 starts and will be an outside chance in the $15,000 Rating 65 Handicap (1110m) at Gosford on February 10.

Two weeks later he will back up at Wyong in another $15,000 Rating 65 Handicap (1350m).

Nipperess’ four horses remaining in Ballina will be tended to by his son Paul and nephew Mark Gorman.

Nipperess said he had to head south in search of bigger races because the two horses had to carry too much weight in local races.

“It’s a gamble,” he said. “But with the weights they’re giving my horses up here at the moment, I have to go somewhere else because they’re just weighting them out of any chance of winning. And the prizemoney bait drags you down a bit.”



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