Chappelow In Pursuit Of ‘Fitting' Chief Havoc Win

HOW appropriate it is for Craig Chappelow to have a finalist in Sunday night’s $40,000-to-the-winner Chief Havoc Cup (527m) at Gunnedah.

HOW appropriate it is for Craig Chappelow to have a finalist in Sunday night's Chief Havoc Cup (527m) at Gunnedah.

The race honours the most famous greyhound to come out of Gunnedah and Chief Havoc is still widely regarded as Australia's all-time greatest.

Craig Chappelow trains Embrace, whose second placing behind Camilla Keeping in a Cup heat last Sunday earned her a place in the final.


It would be fitting if Embrace was to win a race named after one of history's finest because no trainer has a family background stretching so far back in the sport than her trainer.

Over a decade before Chief Havoc was breaking records all over NSW, Chappelow's great grandfather Dave Chappelow was operating one of the nation's first trial tracks.

Dave Chappelow's pioneering trial track at Mascot opened in the early 1930s, alongside what is now Sydney International Airport.

Another of Craig Chappelow's ancestors, his great uncle Bill Aldwell, was so successful as a greyhound trainer his clients included Jim Pike, the jockey who rode the great Phar Lap to victory in the 1930 Melbourne Cup.

The monument of the great Chief Havoc at Gunnedah

Arthur Chappelow, Craig's grandfather, was also a leading trainer, with his champion Merle Drew winning 60 races at Harold Park and at the old Shepherd's Bush track at Mascot, in the 1930s.

After a successful stint as a harness racing trainer and driver, Arthur Chappelow returned to greyhound racing, and soon after his son Ken, Craig Chappelow's father, bought a bitch called China Mac.

China Mac became the dam of Whisk, a champion straight tracker and the sire of Whiskette, which finished third to Corrina Albee in the 1976 Young Star Classic final at Wentworth Park.

Craig Chappelow landed his first Wentworth Park winner in 2000 with Lots Of Fire, winner of nine races in that 12 month period.

After working for 20 years for Qantas, Craig Chappelow resigned in 2021 to "have a crack" at training full-time.

Of course that was destined to happen as when Craig attended Sylvania High School, the inscription alongside his photograph in the yearbook read: "Ambition: to be Sydney's leading greyhound trainer."

In September, 2022, Craig re-launched the famous Farrell's dog food brand, while this year has enjoyed his most successful as a trainer.

Embrace will be eyeing another group triumph in Sunday's Chief Havoc Cup

While Embrace, his Chief Havoc Cup finalist, did win the G1 Peter Mosman Opal in 2022, Chappelow's Overflow Beau, a finalist in last night's Group 1 Flying Amy Classic at Albion Park, took out this year's rich G2 Brother Fox Final at Dubbo, defeating Embrace and giving Chappelow a rare big race quinella.

Ever the realist, Craig Chappelow concedes Embrace seems hard pressed on heat times to be the winner of the Chief Havoc Cup.

"I'm told only Feral Franky has gone quicker at Gunnedah than Cindy Keeping went in her heat, and then you have Sid Swain's Miss Zig Zag sitting up in box one," he said.

"But in big finals anything can happen so I'm always hopeful."


(Sunday, Race 8, 8:07pm)

1. MISS ZIG ZAG $3.10
4. EMBRACE $8.50
5. FANCY MAL $34

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