From little things, big things grow
WHEN a small Intergaze gelding first arrived at Cathy Chapman's Grafton stables, his stature earned him the nickname 'Little'.
Even the gelding's name - Newbold Atom - reflected his size.
But since those early days the gelding has grown both physically and in ability. Today at Grafton Chapman hopes the former 'tiny tot' can finally shed its maiden status in the Westlawn Finance Maiden (1600m) and give the likeable trainer her first win since Cool Joe last December.
Newbold Atom was bred by Ray Heiniger, who owned the Newbold property.
“Newbold Atom was one of three horses I got off Ray and he was certainly the smallest of the bunch,” Chapman said.
“He got the stable nickname 'Little' and early there wasn't a lot of expectations with him.
“He was very immature, but he's really come on.
“I keep telling Ray you can't call him Little anymore. He probably stands just under 16 hands, he's developed and got stronger as he's got older. He's a nice horse, easy to work with. He's kept improving with each run and next preparation I think he'll get over a bit more ground.
“I hope he can win on Monday, a win is always good, especially with the BOBS bonus.”
Newbold Atom has placed at its past two starts - third to Watchword over 1609m at Grafton on February 10 and runner-up to Cee Jay Clang over 1711m on February 21.
Chapman has nine horses, mostly young ones, in work.
“I used to do a bit of transport work with Ray and one day he asked if I'd like to train a couple of horses for him,” Chapman said.
“Newbold Prince (by Desert Prince) and Newbold Gaze (by Intergaze) are spelling.
“They were both placed last preparation and hopefully they can win races when they come back into work. I've been happy with Newbold Atom since last run. He should be a good chance on Monday.”
Chapman added the booking of Peter Graham, the North Coast's leading rider, was an added bonus.
Graham has six other rides on the eight-race program - Handsome Dane (John Shelton), Raglan Road and Tintaldra (Gordon Yorke), Miss Cabriolet (Ian Savins), Winning Deception (Robert Murrell) and Dalcolo (Peter Stanley).
Port Macquarie jockey Marlon Dolendo is hopeful of being fit to fulfil his five rides following a miraculous escape from serious injury at Armidale on Saturday. Dolendo was taken to hospital unconscious after his mount, Fergalicious, came down in a two-horse fall and was later destroyed. The fall also involved Tracy O'Hara. The jockey was later released from Armidale hospital, returned to the track then recalled to hospital to undergo X-rays.
“I didn't wake up until they were wheeling me into hospital, but there's nothing broken. I'm a lucky boy,” Dolendo said yesterday.
“I'm a bit sore, but not as bad as I thought. I'll ride a couple at work in the morning at home and make a decision about Grafton. I'm confident I'll be right.”
Star Grafton apprentice Adam Hyeronimus rode a double at Armidale - Ashweryia and Diamonds And Ice - to record his 41st win for the season and maintain his lead in the NSW country apprentices' premiership.
“He got the stable nickname 'Little' and there wasn't a lot of expectations”