Day At The Track

Ben Hope keen on future in harness racing

10:22 AM 28 Dec 2015 NZDT
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Ben Hope
Now aged sixteen, Ben has had a few drives at workouts to date for his parents

It is not uncommon for children of harness racing trainers to try to follow in the footsteps of their parents.

Around the industry throughout their life, they try to carve out a career in harness racing in their own right.

One who is about to head down that path is Ben Hope.

His parents Greg and Nina Hope are at the elite level of the industry in New Zealand and are having a stellar season through the performances of both Monbet and Mossdale Conner.

Ben has been enthralled with harness racing from an early age.

" I can remember riding in the cart with dad when I was really young."

" From there I progressed to Kids Kartz where I had a bit of success with a couple of ponies called Pepper and Bonnie."

"I had my first drive on a horse when I was eleven when I drove Jason Rulz which was a big thrill," Ben told Harnesslink this afternoon.

Now aged sixteen, Ben has had a few drives at workouts to date for his parents .

" So far I have had seven drives for three wins and a second so so far so good."

"In the next eighteen months I plan to have plenty more drives at the workouts and to get better with the stopwatch with a view to becoming a junior driver when I turn eighteen."

" At this stage I want to focus more on the driving side of the industry."

"I have one more year at school and then I will go to work for mum and dad," Ben said.

As you would expect, Ben rates his parents as the best trainers he has had contact with while Ricky May is the the top of the driving ranks in Ben's opinion.

Ben has already dabbled in the ownership side of the industry, buying the Love You mare Unyielding Spirit for $5,000

" She has won a couple to date and over $20,000 in stakes and been placed in 2:00.1 

" She hasn't got much longer on the track as she is in foal to Peak," Ben said.

Of all the horses coming through the ranks at the Hopes barn, Ben has a lot of time for a two year old.

" He is a two year old called Kingslayer who is a three quarter brother to the former outstanding two year old, Ohoka Arizona."

" He may not race at two, but I know dad thinks a lot of him," Ben said.

Ben is already quite well known to Trackside viewers as he frequently fronts the interviews for the Hope barn.

" I was quite nervous the first time but now I have got use to it I really enjoy it."

It is something I would like to do a bit more of in the future,"Ben said. 

With his grounding in the industry and his level headed approach to things, Ben Hope is a name to post in your notebook for the future.

Harnesslink Media


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