Man with the sand knack

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The Independent Online
DAVID CHAPMAN might be at the veteran stage, but he can still teach the younger brigade a thing or two when it comes to training winners.

The Stillington handler, who has held a licence for the best part of three decades, has enjoyed success at the highest level, most notably through the exploits of Soba in the early Eighties.

With Chaplins Club and Glencroft (both winners of nine handicaps in 1988) Chapman has demonstrated that he can improve even the most exposed handicappers out of all recognition and the ability to select the right races for his charges shows acute awareness of the racing programme.

Since the inception of all-weather in 1989, Chapman has been a staunch supporter of the artificial tracks.

He explains: "I've never been too keen on jumping and it was something to do in the winter. I've also had many horses who seemed to like the sand. In fact, in the last couple of seasons, I'd had more winners on sand than on turf."

Two of Chapman's current sand stars are Tempering and No Submission. The former notched his 20th win at Southwell in January and No Submission has been in prolific form this year with six victories to his name. Between them they have amassed 36 victories for their trainer.

While not having the numerical strength of former years, Chapman still has a team capable of paying their way this year. Here he discusses a handful of the Stillington inmates:

ARROGANT BOY, 6-y-o (Kabour-Belhill). He runs in a ladies' race at Wolverhampton on Friday. If he doesn't frame himself, he'll go jumping - he doesn't have a second gear.

DESERT INVADER, 4-y-o (Lead On Time-Aljood). Won at Southwell in February over a mile from a 60 mark. Didn't get the best of runs at Wolverhampton on Saturday night, being chopped off on the corner. He's rated 66 on the all-weather and we'll play it by ear with him.

GREENS BID, 5-y-o (Siberian Express-Arianna Aldini). He's effective on either sand or turf but doesn't seem to have a trip. Some jockeys say he's a five-furlong horse while others reckon he needs a mile. He seems to go well for my granddaughter, Ruth Clark. Again we'll play it by ear - it depends what the handicapper does.

KALAR, 6-y-o (Kabour-Wind And Reign). Won at Lingfield in March. He's rated 69 (6lb higher than that win) and will carry on racing on the sand. A real speed horse - he ran over six furlongs at Southwell last Thursday - but something wasn't right with him the next day.

KABCAST, 10-y-o (Kabour-Final Cast). Rated 53 on turf and 43 on all-weather. I think he'll win at Lingfield from that all-weather rating. But his immediate target is the next Edinburgh two-day meeting in the amateur race that he won last year.

LEGALLY DELICIOUS, 3-y-o (Law Society-Bold Apple). Not the soundest of horses. A winner three times at Southwell this year. She's rated 63 and apart from a small 0-65 on sand there are no suitable races for her. We had to run her over 11 furlongs at Southwell last week but she didn't stay. As she's well bred, she's likely to be sold as a broodmare.

NO SUBMISSION, 9-y-o (Melyno-Creeping Kate). He's won 16 races in two and a half years for us. A bit of a pain at home but we can put up with that when he runs well! Looked to duck the issue at Southwell on Thursday, but ran well at Wolverhampton on Saturday night with blinkers.

SHADOW JURY, 5-y-o (Doulab-Texita). Will keep him to the turf for the present. He's entered in the Gosforth Park Cup. Has won on the all-weather, but his last two wins have been on grass where he's rated 64 (and 57 on all-weather). Should win again if the handicapper leaves him.

TEMPERING, 9-y-o (Kris-Mixed Applause). Winner of 20 races at Southwell. He's having a summer holiday at the moment but he'll be back in a month. Rated 53, so he'll be better off in handicaps if he could find his old form. However, he's got a good few miles on the clock.

WELLSY LAD, 8-y-o (El Baba-Iwishiknew). Won a Southwell seller on his next to last start but was raised 8lb for that. The starter reported him for being mulish behind the stalls at Southwell last week. He now might go for a novice hurdle at Southwell - he jumps well but we're not sure about the trip. But they usually stay two miles over hurdles if they get a mile on the Flat.