Day At The Track

Three-peat at Westport for Woodend trainers

11:07 AM 28 Dec 2010 NZDT
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The second day (Tuesday) of the Westport Trotting Club's meeting was dominated by Woodend harness racing trainers Greg and Nina Hope. Long-time supporters of the Christmas Coast circuit the Hopes bagged themselves a hat-trick of wins on day two including a double by super-sire Mach Three.

Following on from a win and several placings on the first day, Eaglehurst started the ball rolling for Greg and Nina when the daughter of The Big Dog scored in the hands of Ricky May. "It was nice to get that win," said co-trainer Greg Hope. "The horse is owned by Graham O'Connor who has been a really great owner for us, he was with us when I first started out training." O'Connor is based in Sydney where he works as a Radio technician.

Close Shave made it two wins from as many outings when he backed up from his first day success to down the previously unbeaten Motu Cup Day Cullen by a short margin. The son of Mach Three will head to Reefton the only horse eligible for the $10,000 West Coast Bonus. Close Shave has inherited his share of the family talent according to Greg Hope. "Every foal from the mare has won races so it's no mistake that this fella can run a bit, he has got a motor."

From the Smooth Fella mare Exotic Maid, Close Shave is bred and raced by North Canterbury couples Peter and Lynn Stephenson and John and Sandra Blackadder. "He was sent to us with a few gaiting issues and still has some steering problems. I told the owners he could win three or four races which wasn't a very brave statement really."

Completing the "Mach Attack" was the impressive Miracle Mach, going from strength to strength and obviously enjoying his time in the care of Greg and Nina Hope. "We weren't going to line him up on the second day, but he showed that much speed on the first day I thought we may as well give him a chance," Greg Hope said. Miracle Mach has thrived since joining their beach training establishment winning twice and being placed once from six outings to date.

The feature race of the day was won by the Robert Dunn trained McKay. Driven by son John Dunn, McKay was one of three driving successes on the day for John. A son of Christian Cullen from smart race-mare Kliklite, McKay went one better after running second to Franco Emirate in the Westport Cup two days ago.

The Highlights:

Top Sire: Man Around Town and Mach Three 2 wins.

Top Trainer: Greg and Nina Hope 3 wins.

Top Driver: John Dunn and Ricky May 3 wins.

Top Junior Driver: None.

Results from the Westport Trotting Club's meeting held today (Tuesday) were:

Race 1: The Jim Curtin trained and driven REGGAE ROYAL (Man Around Town).

Race 2: The Greg and Nina Hope trained EAGLEHURST (The Big Dog) Ricky May.

Race 3: The Brent Borcoskie trained and driven OUR BLOSSOM (Grant Our Wishes).

Race 4: The Robert Dunn trained WAL (Armbro Operative) John Dunn.

Race 5: The Margo Nyan trained FLY THE FLAG (Falcon Seelster) Peter Davis.

Race 6: The Greg and Nina Hope trained CLOSE SHAVE (Mach Three) Ricky May.

Race 7: The Greg and Nina Hope trained MIRACLE MACH (Mach Three) Jim Curtin.

Race 8: The Robert Dunn trained MCKAY (Christian Cullen) John Dunn.

Race 9: The Kevin Townley trained NEVILLE VAUGHAN (Britewell) John Dunn.

Race 10: The Terry May trained TEN DIAMONDS (Man Around Town) Ricky May.

Steve Dolan


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