EIGHTEEN months of schooling and education over jumps paid dividends for Chappell which won a $20,000 maiden hurdle at Warrnambool yesterday.
Chappell was aided by a perfect ride from Paul Hamblin to defeat Divi Filius by a long neck, with Royal Butler six lengths away in third place.
Hamblin gave credit for the win to Chappell’s trainer Tony Logan.
“I’ve been schooling Chappell over jumps for the past 18 months,” he said.
“Tony and I decided last year to just educate Chappell as much as we could before formulating a plan for this jumps season.
“He only got his second ticket two weeks ago. Tony has been really patient with him which has really helped the horse.
“We decided to let him settle in the back part of the field because we were not sure he would run out the 3217 metres but he ran out the distance solidly.”
A restricted hurdle race on the last day of the Warrnambool May Racing Carnival may be on the agenda for the six-year-old, according to Hamblin.
“I’ll be having a talk with Tony about which way we go with Chappell,” he said.
“There’s the restricted hurdle at the Warrnambool carnival. Tony may go down that path with him.
“I don’t think he’ll measure up to the top- class jumpers but he is going to be an honest performer in whatever jumps race Tony sets him for over the next few months.”
The win was Chappell’s fourth from 39 starts.
The maiden hurdle was the first jumps race in Victoria for the 2014 season and attracted seven runners — all got around safely which pleased the former Queensland-based flat jockey who started riding in jumps races 13 years ago.
“I think a lot of the credit has to go to Racing Victoria for introducing the new safety measures for jumps races,” he said.
“The horses are better schooled and the jumps jockeys are well educated.
“There is always going to be an accident but overall the safety aspect for horses and jockeys in jumps races has improved immensely over the past few years.”