Day At The Track

Hoping for Dual Rubies

10:20 PM 15 May 2016 NZST
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Monbet,Harness racing Paul Nairn is interviewed by Trackside's
Stuart McCormick photo
Paul Nairn

Greg Hope knows there is only one Monbet​ but the 12-1/2 length victory of Enghien​ on Saturday is enough to suggest he can be a more than handy second stringer.

Two years ago it was Monbet who ran the field off their feet to win the 2-year-old Ruby at the Harness Jewels in Cambridge and the Hopes will take a similar game plan with Enghien in the same race next month.

Another son of emerging super sire Love You, Enghien was a class above in leading most of the way in Saturday's Listed $65,000 PGG Wrightson Yearling Sales trot for the 2-year-olds at Addington.

Greg Hope believes Enghien can be as good as any other 2-year-old in the country this season.
"Ricky (May) said he jogged it, he won with a leg in the air really," Hope said.

"He's got a big motor, he's one of those horses that love running hard all the way," Hope said.

Hope, who trains in partnership with wife Nina at Woodend Beach, confirmed Enghien will return to Addington on Saturday for the $60,000 Group II Sires Stakes championship before heading north for the Jewels.

Monbet looks almost certain to give the Hopes one victory in the 4-year-Ruby but with Enghien ($2.80) second favourite behind Habibi Inta ($1.80) for the 2-year-old Ruby, it is only natural the Monbet comparisons will come.

"They've probably got the same sort of motor, but Monbet, well there's only one Monbet," Hope said.

The Hopes firmly believe Enghien is at his best in a tough staying test where he can grind the opposition down and take the speed out of them.

"He can run even sectionals but at this stage his gait probably lets him down a wee bit.

"If he stays on his feet I think he is as good as any of the 2-year-olds going around this year."

But the Hopes are confident the best of Enghien will not be seen until later in his career when his gait is improved and there is more pace in his races.

"He'll be a lot better suited up in the grades as an older horse because obviously they do go harder then and he won't have to go out and do it himself."

Saturday's race will be harder for Enghien when he clashes with Habibi Inta.

The Paul Nairn-trained colt is a full brother to Habibti, Habibti Ivy and Lothario.

He has two wins over Enghien but one was by a nose on the grass at Methven and the other was when the Hope runner galloped.

"He's working really well and we are happy with him," Nairn said of Habibi Inta leading into Saturday's race.


Meanwhile, Monbet is a chance to go into the Jewels without a trial.

Hope said no final decision had been made but at this stage the unbackable favourite would start fresh.

Such is the dominance of Monbet, the TAB bookmakers have opened the market without him.

Hope said the winner of 13 from his last 15 starts has come back in perfect order from a short break following his Rowe Cup winning heroics.

"We're really rapt with him, he seems to be have come back better than ever."

Usain Colt gave the Hopes and May a race-to-race double when he upset the field in a super series pace.

Going into Saturday's meeting, Usain Colt was 37th in the pecking order for the 4-year-old Emerald but his third win of the season has seen him jump to 13th.

Hope said he would return to Addington on Saturday in a bid to confirm his trip to Cambridge.

Usain Colt

Nairn also struck success when Le Reveur​ was a one length winner in the $40,000 Listed Sires Stakes Aged Trotters Classic.

Favourite Great Things Happen hit the line nicely in second but left his run too late.

Second favourite Harriet Of Mot lost her chance early when she and Zachary Binx were cleaned up by a galloping All Lit Up.

Le Reveur

Mat Kermeen

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