Wagga trainer Gary Colvin looks to have another nice horse on his hands after The Chaplain landed some big bets on Friday.
The Chaplain was backed from $2.80 into $1.55 and landed the cash with victory in the first division of the Pieper Plumbing & Roofing Maiden Plate (1200m).
Owned by Simon and Mel Rosengren, The Chaplain broke through for his maiden victory at just his fifth race start.
The three-year-old did not get clear running until halfway down the straight but showed a good turn of foot to chase down Welletsdoit ($8.00) and score by a length.
Colvin was relieved to see The Chaplain get the money.
“He did the look the winner on paper but the pressure’s off now,” Colvin said.
“Whenever they go around at $1.50, it always adds a bit of pressure.”
Colvin has always had a lot of time for The Chaplain.
He ran second to the group-placed Sizzling Belle on debut as a two-year-old but then was put away and looked after by Colvin.
The son of Zariz had never finished further back than fourth at his first four starts and appreciated the step out to 1200m on Friday.
“I’ve always thought he was a very nice horse, the 1000 metres was a bit short for him the other day,” he said.
“We’ve given him plenty of time, and that’s why, because we’ve had a good opinion of him.
“I think he’ll go on to make a nice horse.”
Colvin said this year’s $150,000 Southern District heat of the Country Championships, to be held at Albury next month, would probably come too soon for The Chaplain.
“Not this year,” he said.
“I think he might be more of a mile horse but we’ll go home, have a look and see what’s going on.
“It was good to get that one out of the way today. When they go around at $1.50, that’s the way you like to see them win.”
The Chaplain was ridden to victory by in-form apprentice jockey Blaike McDougall, in what was the first leg of a winning double for the Albury rider.
McDougall has struck a terrific relationship with Colvin, having ridden 12 winners for the stable now at a strike rate of 34 per cent.
McDougall was also successful on the Geoff Duryea-trained Kapover ($2.15) in the Royans Wagga Class Two Handicap (1600m).
He took his time to find clear running on Kapover, but once he did, the five-year-old dashed away to score by 2 ¾ lengths, from Pastiche ($31.00) and Tobermory ($3.90).
Former Gundagai boys Todd Smart and Billy Owen combined to take out the district’s first two-year-old race of the season in a boilover.
Washington Towers ($19.00) led all the way on debut, to upset the $1.30 favourite Redicon.