Rising star Taikun on his competition

Carla Dougherty will saddle up Taikun Prince today.
Carla Dougherty will saddle up Taikun Prince today. Scott Davis

THE rain was relentless against the frail foal struggling to take its first steps, but trainer Cathy Chapman refused to give up on Taikun Prince, the budding race champion.

"He couldn't get up because he kept slipping over in the mud," Chapman said. "my nephew had to get him up and get him to drink."

The vet was called and, for quite some time, little Taikun Prince remained small and feeble for some time. But, like Chapman, he refused to give up.

"Now he's tall, strong and my special little fella," Chapman said.

The brown gelding will be racing in the Beauford Club of Newcastle CG&E Maiden Handicap today with Chapman saying it will be a difficult race.

"It's going to be quite tough as there is strong competition out there, but he will no doubt run a nice race," she said.

Chapman said barrier nine wasn't brilliant, but he would be in a better position to his competition Call the Coppers with Matthew McGuren on top and First Family ridden by Ben Looker.

"A lot of the better horses in the race have been drawn outside of him, so that will be good for him," she said.

Chapman said apprentice Carla Dougherty has worked well with the four-year-old gelding.

"She has done a lot of work with him and gets on very well with him," she said. "Since his last start, he's beginning to show a bit of promise."

Dougherty will claim 3kg off the allocated 56.5kg weight for today's race.