Day At The Track

Looking to fill the void

09:31 AM 08 Dec 2016 NZDT
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Monbet might be out for potentially the rest of the season, but Greg and Nina Hope will tonight unleash another up and coming trotting star when Enghien makes his three-year-old debut.

Reigning Horse of the Year, Monbet, underwent an operation on Tuesday to have a bone chip removed from a knee – a procedure that curtailed plans of an Australian raid late in the summer and also leaves his Rowe Cup defence up in the air.

Quite A Moment, who ran a bold second to her stablemate in the Dominion last month is the natural replacement at the top of the trotting pile you would think, but then again, there’s a fair bit of x-factor about Enghien.

A stand out at two, things got a little too much for him late in the season as he threw a Harness Jewels victory away with a couple of gallops – but there was always the belief from the Hope team that what he was doing then he was doing on raw ability with time set to be his best friend.

A decent spell to strengthen up and a solid build up toward tonight has been undertaken and a quiet run in behind Marcoola last week at the Methven workouts should see the well-bred trotter ready to rock and roll when he steps out late in the night tonight at Addington.

“He’s good, progressing along nice,” Greg Hope said.

“It’s always an interesting one when they come back from being a two-year-old to see just where they measure up.

“But we have always had a lot of time for him and he’s maturing into quite a nice horse.”

Drawn out wide tonight with Ricky May in the bike, the task won’t be easy – especially with Donegal Bettorgretch, a Jewels winner herself, out for redemption after some poor manners last time out.

Another young star is set to return to the Addington track tonight with Nathan Purdon back in Canterbury.

The son of champion trainer, Mark, has been on an extended working trip to Australia during which time he enjoyed Group One success with Ohoka Punter as well as making quite the name for himself among the Australian circles.

Purdon is set to team up with West Melton trainer, Cran Dalgety in the coming months and will take the reins on Donegal Bettorgretch tonight.

He will also drive Bettor To Be Tricky for Grant Payne in the final event of the night.

Super Selector  - By Matt Markham

Race 1: Mekong Princess, Louis Moss, Shona Mary, Zsa Ziva

Race 2: Eja Patron, Nui Toc Tien, Handlebar Hank, Bettor Backim

Race 3: Franco Tai, Billy Badger, Ranfurly Rulz, Runaway Star

Race 4: No More Change, Glenferrie Classic, Vai Star, Wozniacki

Race 5: Bailey’s Rock, Aymar, Fire One, Illegal Immigrant

Race 6: Blade, Cmeerock, Stop Means Stop, Missinmemate

Race 7: Enghien, Donegal Bettorgretch, Idle Monkey, All Lit Up

Race 8: Hilarious Magic, Kitura, Titanium, Bettor To Be Tricky

Best Bet: No More Change (Race 4)

Value: Franco Tai (Race 3)

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