Chevron Island wins Lennox Cup
ABOUT a fortnight ago, Chevron Island ran off the track during the Bangalow Cup and finished stone-cold motherless last.
But yesterday the seven-year-old gelding more than made amends for his bad behaviour with a smooth rails run that saw him claim the $10,000 Lennox Point Lennox Head Cup (1400m) by one-and-a-half-lengths from Icedane ($6) and $4.60 favourite Frisco Miss.
Much of the kudos for Chevron Island's win went to Ballina-based trainer Kevin Nipperess, who put experienced hoop Garry Baker onboard the horse instead of apprentice Emily Kehoe, and gave him a 'lugging bit' since his last start.
“The biggest thing that hurt me the other day was that the little girl (Kehoe) did everything right, bar that the horse was too strong for her,” Nipperess said.
“He's a big, strong horse and he just took control of her.
“I'm sad that she's not on him, but you just have to do these things. The stewards said that I had to put a senior jockey on him because of what happened the other day. I'm just sorry Emily wasn't on him.”
Chevron Island carries form from the city but had been a little wayward before the owners placed him with Nipperess to see if he could iron out a few kinks.
“He hadn't won a race in quite a long time,” Nipperess said.
“One of the owners I have known for many, many years and he asked me whether I could take the horse and see what I could do with him.
“I've given him three starts and he's had a fourth, a third and a win, and we think that he will go on.”
Frisco Miss did most of the heavy work during the Lennox Head Cup and was leading from In Phuket at the turn, but Baker had been sitting in behind the leaders and got a clear run on the rails as the field set its sights on the winning post.
“He jumped well and he got up running second and he just stayed there,” Nipperess said.
“It was a great ride by Baker and we've had a great association, Baker and I, and that's why he got on.”
Chevron Island beat a classy field that included Casino and Bangalow cups winner River Street and Nipperess' other horse in the race, All Our Way, which took out the Ballina Cup on September 10.
Winning cups has become a habit for the canny Nipperess, but yesterday's addition was his first Lennox Head Cup.
“There's nothing like winning your home-town cup and your local cups, that's what you train for,” he said.
Earlier in the day, the Terry McCarthy-trained Ravendra took out the Lennox Head IGA Bakery Entires and Geldings Maiden Plate (1300m) by a neck from Red Ransom.