Silver Chief still the highlight for proud Taswegian

\"\"Caption: David Booth with the Silver Chief trophy won by his great chaser Jamella Prince


Group 1 Silver Chief (525m)

The Meadows

Best males nominated, whelped on or after 1-6-2018.

Heats December 26. Final January 2.

$100,000 to the winner.



TASSIE breeder, owner Dave Booth had a memorable moment when Jamella Jet came from last to be beaten a length in the inaugural running of the Million Dollar Chase in 2018.

But, ask Dave his ‘glory moment’ and he will of course plump for victory with home grown Jamella Prince way back in 1999 in the time honoured Silver Chief … the only Tassie winner of the prestige race.

\”He\’s the only Tassie dog to ever win it,\” Dave proudly declared just to make the point even stronger.

The list of superstars to have won the Silver Chief includes such greats as Simon Told Helen, Barooga Brett, Out Of Range, Above All, Kilty Lad, Fedex, Meticulous, Closing Argument, Big Daddy Cool, Dave\’s Mentor and Kantarn Bale all in recent times.

But Jamella Prince\’s place in the history of the race stands the test of time and Dave Booth is never happier than when talking about his first great race dog.

\”I bought his mother Bindari Fox as an eight-week-old pup,\” he said. \”She was a very good race bitch and her mother Fox\’s Image was a great dog in Tassie.

\”I sent Bindari Fox to Melbourne and she won at Sandown and finished second in a Damsels Dash. I didn\’t over-race her. When she retired she went to Malawi\’s Prince, one of the top two sires in the country.\”

Dave has always been a student of bloodlines. Something he takes pride in. A devotee of in-breeding, the mating to Malawi\’s Prince brought in an intensity 1×2 to Malawi\’s Prince and Chariot Supreme who were both bred on the Waverly Supreme/Second Stage cross.

\”At the time I was manager of an insurance branch in Launceston,\” said Dave. \”I was training a dog or two but really couldn\’t devote all my time to it.\”

With that in mind, Dave kept only one of the Malawi\’s Prince-Bindari Fox pups, the only dog she produced in a litter of five. He would be named Jamella Prince.

Jamella is the combination of Dave\’s children\’s name, James and Ella.

\”I reared him at home, but also sent him away for three or four months to familiarise him with other dogs,\” said Dave. \”He came back at 10 months and right from the start of his career he was something else.

\”My brother and I used to take him to the local footy park and slip him between us. You could tell how explosive he was off the mark, right from the time we started doing it.

\”I thought at the time, ‘gee I\’ve never seen anything like him’.\”

Dave educated the dog and prepared him for the highly respected Hobart Maiden 1000. \”It\’s been a traditional race in Tassie for as long as the Hobart 1000 itself,\” he said.

Dave sent the dog to David Croswell, who he says has been Tassie\’s leading trainer for the past 50 years. Few will disagree.

Croswell and Jamella Prince blitzed the Maiden 1000, then won nine straight including the Tassie Breeders Classic and the Fosters Silver Trophy.

\”Dave Croswell decided to have a holiday around Australia after that and I decided to send Jamella Prince to Allan Britton to prepare for the South Australian Derby,\” said David.

He won that too as well as races at Sandown along the way.

\”I flew across to see him win the Derby. He ran 29.64 to win his semi-final which is a good time now let along two decades ago,\” he said.

Croswell got back to Tassie and the first thing he did was contact Dave Booth and ask for Jamella Prince.

\”He ran third in a semi-final of the Hobart 1000 and was never out of trouble,\” said Dave. \”The next week he ran 25.75 on the same night as the big final and that was quicker than the winner in the 1000.\”

Which leads to the Silver Chief.

\”We decided to have a crack at the Silver Chief and Dave took him over to Melbourne,\” said Booth. \”He drew the seven in the final, got into second in the back straight and was too strong at the finish.\”

Jamella Prince downed Moonamble Law, Bendon Boy and down the track were stars like Jones Junior and Clearwater Boy.

\”It was not something we expected, but the win was very special,\” said Dave Booth.

At the time the Triple Crown was the SA Derby, Silver Chief and National Derby at Wentworth Park. Jamella Prince had to be scratched from the heats of the Derby in Sydney when he was found to be ill.

\”I got offered $40,000 for him during his career but knocked it back,\” said Dave. He retired after 32 starts for 22 wins and seven placings and earned $75,000.

\”I wanted to keep his record intact to put him to stud. That\’s what I did and he spent 12 months at stud in Tassie. But, Tassie breeders don\’t use their own stud dogs and despite him being the leading stud dog in Tassie he was lightly used.\”

So, when Victorian-based Pommy Geoff Parnaby approached Dave with a $40,000 offer for Jamella Prince to go to stud in Ireland, the deal was signed. Parnaby will also be remembered for negotiating the sale to Ireland of stud greats Top Honcho and Frightful Flash.

He went off to Droopys Stud, the leading stud farm in Ireland and started producing Group 1 winners. His daughters did the same.

\”It was a very, very sad day when he left Tassie,\” said Dave Booth. \”He was such a lovely dog. But the money was unbelievable.

\”He became a top 10 sire in Ireland for five years in a row.\”

Dave Booth\’s success with Jamella Jet, runner-up in the Millon Dollar Chase in 2018, has set the dog up for a stud career as well. The son of Fernando Bale-Millie Grace is destined for a mating to Dave\’s own bitch Jamella Frost.

\”I\’m 70 and this will about be my last venture into breeding,\” said Dave. \”Jamella Frost was going to be something special but she was injured and did not race.\”

Whatever that mating tosses up for Dave Booth in the future, it will need to be very, very special to match the deeds of Jamella Prince … Tassie\’s only winner of the Silver Chief.



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