Trainer Desleigh Forster is hoping talented sprinter Chapter and Verse can reward jockey Taylor Marshall for his dedication with a win in the Listed Spear Chief Handicap at Doomben on Saturday.
The Spear Chief Handicap hasn’t been won by a Queenslander since former Gold Coast trainer David Kelly claimed the feature with Aldini six years ago.
Formerly known as the Sir Edwards Williams Handicap, the Spear Chief has been dominated in recent years by interstate trainers like Gai Waterhouse (Frespanol 2015), Chris Waller (Takes Of Grimm 2016), Richard Laming (Payroll 2017), Peter and Paul Snowden (Snippets Land 2018) and Bjorn Baker (Redouble 2018).
Taylor is having only his second ride on Chapter And Verse after finishing a close fourth on the gelding in the Listed Ascot Handicap at Eagle Farm on June 13.
“He loomed up like he was going to beat them in the Ascot but I put it down to three factors,” Forster said.
“He was second up in the Ascot, he’s a five-year-old and the track was too firm.”
Chapter And Verse was being aimed at the Group 1 Stradbroke Handicap on June 6 but he failed to qualify after finishing 11th in the Group 2 Victory Stakes won by Victorem at Eagle Farm last month.
Michael Cahill rode Chapter And Verse in the Victory Stakes before Marshall partnered him in the Ascot Handicap.
“I hope he wins for Taylor as he’s a good kid and he’s been working hard,” Forster said.
“I liked the way the horse travelled for Taylor in the Ascot and this looks a nice race on paper with plenty of speed.
“He was being aimed for the original winter carnival races but when they were scrapped his campaign had to be rushed.”
Chapter And Verse has drawn wide in barrier 10 but Forster isn’t concerned.
“There’s a long run from the 1350 metre to the turn so I’m not worried about drawing out,” Forster said.
Chapter And Verse hasn’t won since claiming the Group 3 George Moore Stakes over 1200 metres at Doomben in November.
It was his first win in seven starts at Doomben but he has placed on another three occasions.
Forster plans to give Chapter And Verse one more start in the Listed Glasshouse Handicap at the Sunshine Coast next month before turning him out for a spell.
– Racing Queensland