Day At The Track

Lethal combination dominate Nelson meeting

10:32 AM 10 Jan 2015 NZDT
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Monbet - Has come back bigger and better as a 3 year old Greg + Nina Hope - Dominated the first day at Nelson
Monbet - Has come back bigger and better as a 3 year old
Greg + Nina Hope - Dominated the first day at Nelson
Eva Sophnally
1 - 3 of 5

There are not many harness racing meetings at Nelson that don't have a big representation from the Greg and Nina Hope barn at Woodend and yesterday was no exception.

Originally from Nelson, Greg especially seems to target meetings there and Greg and Nina have a great record over the years at the Richmond track.

When you then add the champion driver Ricky May to the mix you have a lethal combination as evidenced yesterday when the Hope / May partnership won five of the eleven races on offer.

Ricky May was quick to deflect all the praise to Greg and Nina when spoken to by Harnesslink this morning.

" They are great trainers to drive for as you know their horses are going to be spot on when you drive for them."

" It makes my job so much easier when the horses are turned out like Greg and Nina do them," Ricky said.

Ricky knew going to Nelson that he had a top book of drives as he had driven most of the team at trials and races leading into yesterdays meeting.

So here is Ricky's assessment of the five winners he drove yesterday.

Arizona Atom

 " He is a really nice horse that I thought would be tough to beat. He trialed super at Methven last weekend so I knew he was ready. He is still a bit green and inexperienced so I think he will just keep getting better."

Usain Colt

"Very similar to Arizona Atom and is another horse I have a wee bit of time for. I drove him when he qualified and I liked him then. He has a bit of raw speed and I think he could go a fair way"


" He has come back as a 3 year old in fantastic form. He has really stepped up from his 2 year old season and I think he has a huge future. He trotted 3:4 for the 2400 metres yesterday and did it easy. Greg said he would be a lot better for the run at Ashburton and he was. I am really looking forward to driving him in the big races coming up."


" He surprised me a wee bit with how he went. We got a long way back and I had to use him to get around them. When he straightened up he really charged home and won with a bit of authority. That was his best run for a while."

Eva Sophnally

" She deserved that one. She has been going good for a while back in Canterbury. She just lacks a touch of high speed but makes up for it with her toughness. Once I got to the front I knew she would be hard to beat."

When looking forward to the second day at Nelson tomorrow Ricky, while acknowledging that all the winners had gone up a grade still thought the two impressive maiden winners would be hard to hold out.

" I think Arizona Atom and Usain Colt are both capable of taking the step up and winning again on Sunday."

"I also think the maiden trotter Everybody Knows is a big chance in the first race," Ricky said.

Greg and Nina Hope and Ricky May have built up a great record at Nelson over the last few years and punters should be very wary of this lethal combination when assessing the fields tomorrow.

Harnesslink Media



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