Bangalow Cup ‘ideal’ distance for gelding

A SURPRISE phone call from an old work mate is set to provide a ‘meaty’ result for local trainer Kevin Nipperess and Chevron Island at the Ballina races today.

Chevron Island, a seven-year-old Canny Lad gelding, will step out in the Frank Scarrabelotti Memorial Bangalow Cup (1300m).

About four months ago Nipperess, a former butcher, had a message to phone back Peter McGuiness, a horse owner from Beaudesert.

“Yeah, the misses (Patricia) took the call and said Peter McGuiness rang,” Nipperess recalled.
“I said who in then hell is Peter McGuiness.

“She said ‘You know the fella who did his apprenticeship with you as a butcher.’

“Well, I didn’t believe it. While I was doing my trade (butchery), Peter was under me. I hadn’t heard or spoken to him for 25 to 30 years.

“When I rang back we both started laughing. Peter said he had a half share in a horse (Chevron Island) and wanted me to train it.”

McGuiness races Chevron Island, formerly trained on the   Gold Coast, with George Warrener, who has a spelling property at Beaudesert.

Nipperess, 71, incidentally will celebrate 50 years of marriage in November.

Chevron Island had had two starts for the veteran Ballina trainer and both runs, over unsuitable distances, have been bottlers.

The gelding resumed with a 1.9 lengths fourth to Desireux in the Ballina Newmarket (1000m) on September 10 then a close third to his rival today, Montana Hilton, over 1100m at Lismore on September 20.

Chevron Island, to again be ridden by Nipperess’s talented 2kg claiming apprentice Emily Kehoe, hit the line with gusto both times.

“The step up to 1300 metres is ideal,” Nipperess said.

“I think he can win and put some meat on the table,” he joked.

“He stormed home last start. Another 20 metres and he gets the prize.

“I have the horse fit now. They told me when he was trained up north they couldn’t hold him on the track. He wanted to bolt.

“He’s settled in since he’s been with me. I just work him late when the hustle and bustle has finished.
“He’s done tremendous.

“He’s a lovely big horse, strong bugger, a real Canny Lad. He’ll take some beating.”

Nipperess hopes Chevron Island can win then take him to Brisbane next start.

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