Apr 13, 2019
IF names count for anything, CHALMERS surely will win his own “gold medal” at Royal Randwick on Saturday.
The Kris Lees trained four-year-old lines up in the $500,000 PolyTrack Provincial Championships Final (1400m) on Day 2 of The Championships, and will be ridden by James McDonald.
Prime Thoroughbreds boss Joe O’Neill reckons finding a name for the son of Mossman and Redoute’s Choice mare Nephyts he purchased at the 2016 Inglis Classic yearling sale in Sydney was a “no brainer”.
“I named him after Kyle Chalmers, the brilliant Australian swimmer who won the men’s 100m freestyle gold medal at the Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games that year,” O’Neill said.
“I remember ringing my good mate and great client David Morrow (the well-known rugby league broadcaster) and telling him I had the perfect name for this horse.
“The Mossman breed are swimmers, so naming him Chalmers was a natural.”
O’Neill went to $75,000 to secure the equine Chalmers, who was Lot 136 at that 2016 Classic sale at the old Newmarket complex.
“I have always liked the Mossmans, and this colt (subsequently gelded) was very athletic,” O’Neill explained.
“Being such a great type, I actually thought he would bring a bit more. I got him for the right price.”
There will be a big contingent of Chalmers’ owners at Randwick to see their gelding contest the Final.
“Chalmers was syndicated into 10 shares, and his owners come from several States of Australia and also Hong Kong,” O’Neill said.
“They include David (Morrow), Peter Smith, Ian Bruce, Brenton Parker and Newcastle real estate agent Michael Coates.
“David and I met at Waverley Cricket Club in 1982 and later served on the committee of that great club, so I knew him before he joined the ABC in 1984.
“He has been a great supporter of mine, racing quite a few horses including Savoureux, Pitt Street and Holding.
“Peter Smith played in the front row for Canterbury in the 1979 NRL grand final against St George, and is now the Gold Coast Titans’ welfare officer.
“He has been named the NRL’s leading welfare officer for the last two years, and also been a great supporter of our business, racing such good horses as Husson Eagle and Adelaide Magic Millions 2YO Classic winner Atalanta Miss.
“Iain Bruce is on the Hong Kong Jockey Club Board, and Brenton Parker bred the 2016 Provincial Championships Final winner Danish Twist, and also her older half-brother, the triple Group 1 winner Happy Trails.”
Chalmers was a member of former Australian Turf Club chairman John Cornish’s Torryburn Stud draft at the 2016 Classic sale, and has so far returned nearly $170,000 in both prizemoney and a $28,125 BOBS bonus.
His 19 starts have produced four wins and seven placings, and he has been effective on dry and wet ground, and has won second-up.
Chalmers made last December’s inaugural Spring Provincial Series Final (1600m) at Kembla Grange when seventh to Bobbing (a rival again), and qualified for the Provincial Championships Final with a flashing first-up third to Golden Tycoon in the 1200m Gosford qualifier, which was transferred and run at Newcastle on March 21.
Chalmers, the swimmer, produced a remarkable finish in his Olympic victory, coming from seventh of the eight finalists at the halfway mark.
If his equine namesake can do the same on Saturday, a Provincial Championships “gold medal” is definitely in the offing.
HOOFNOTE: Chalmers’ rider James McDonald, the current Sydney premiership front-runner, has partnered the gelding on three occasions for seconds at Rosehill and Canterbury in June last year and January respectively, and a 1600m Warwick Farm success in June last year on a heavy track.
Ironically, the horse he beat that day – Toryjoy – races in John Cornish’s Torryburn Stud colours