Day At The Track

Monbet brains them

02:34 PM 04 Jun 2016 NZST
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Monbet
Monbet

Winner: Monbet - Driver: Ricky May - Trainers: Greg and Nina Hope - Owners: Greg & Nina Hope & Morrie Molloy - Breeder: Greg and Nina Hope.

Time: 1:56.6 - Margin 1 and 1/4 lengths - 800m: 57.2 - 400m: 28.8 - 2nd: Le Reveur - 3rd: Reine Des Gitans

Greg Hope isn’t sure if Monbet can come back a better horse next season, but he’s pretty sure he doesn’t have too.

The standout trotter signed off on his stellar four-year-old season with his second Harness Jewels victory in the exact same time he ran when he won the 2YO Ruby two years ago.

And while the great season is now over, Hope, who trains with his wife Nina, is already looking forward to the next one.

“I’m not sure he can come back better next season, but I don’t think he probably has too,” he said.

“He takes everything in his stride and just does what he needs to do.”

The Ruby ran pretty much to script with Sunny Ruby leading them a merry chase while Monbet settled early before launching inside the final lap – Ricky May never really looked panicked and when he asked for effort at the top of the straight, Monbet strode clear.

“Then he knocked off,” May said.

“You’ve got to keep him up to the task, he’s one of those horses who doesn’t stretch himself any more than he has too.”

Just before May moved there was a heart-in-the-mouth moment when Paramount Dream, who was in front of Monbet, galloped.

“It got pretty close and I thought we might have been in trouble there for a moment.”

Monbet will head to the paddock now, but he’s got the chance to win one more big title before the season is over.

On July 30 he will be awarded Four-Year-Old Trotter of the Year, Trotter of the Year and there is a real possibility he could take home the major prize of Horse of the Year.

“He deserves it, I know I’m biased, but not many horses do what he’s done this season.”

Le Reveur was the best of the beaten brigade, sprinting up strongly from the trail to finish second for Bob Butt.

Reine Des Gitans emerged out of the pack to finish third at massive money.

Royal Shine finished fourth but was disqualified in the room after the race for galloping too far at the start.

Matt Markham

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