Kendra the next potential star for Hopes


Greg and Nina Hope have made a name for themselves as the breeders of Monbet and now they look set to have a star juvenile pacing filly in the form of Kendra.

The daughter of Sportswriter and the Hopes’ good racemare Robyn Blue has had three trials for three good wins, including a 1.56.6 mile at Ashburton during the week, and Greg is presently contemplating taking her north for the Young Guns Series.

The Hopes have already been offered big money from the Gary Hall stable for Kendra, but she failed a veterinary exam late last year.

“The x-rays revealed a minor issue with a knee and they felt it was a lot of money to risk with a horse that hadn’t raced,” said Greg.

“But I suppose they could still come calling a bit later.”

There is a Young Guns heat in Auckland on March 2 with the $80,000 final a week later, but the Leonard Memorial is at Addington the same weekend as the heat.

The Hopes are training another smart juvenile filly in Mossdale Art, a daughter of Bettor’s Delight and a Major In Art half-sister to Mossdale Conner who was placed in her two trials back in November.

One filly is likely to target the Leonard while the other heads to Auckland.

Hope said they bred Robyn Blue to Sportswriter to get a double up of Big Towner, a sire Hope is a fan of because he’s brought speed to the table.

Kendra is the fourth foal from Robyn Blue and her third winner, following on from Little Boy Blue (1.54, 16 Aus wins, $165,000) and Indie (2 wins), the latter now a galloping pacemaker for the Hopes.

The other foal was a Mach Three filly which was lost in the first Christchurch earthquake in late 2010.

“The Mach Three filly broke in ‘beaut’ but she went berserk in her box during the earthquake.

“We had Kendra broken in by John Versteeg and he had her on a pedestal right from the start, saying she might well be the best horse he has ever broken in.

“She looks like a colt and is a great gaited filly with really quick speed.”

Robyn Blue was named after Robyn Noble, the wife of Nevele R’s Mike Noble who helped foal the mare, and Kendra is named after their daughter.

The now 16-year-old Robyn Blue has been sparingly bred and has only produced two foals in the last six seasons, but she is in foal to A Rocknroll Dance this season.

“We were concentrating on breeding the trotters for a good while, but when Monbet won at the Jewels as a two-year-old, we decided to send our two pacing mares to stud.”

While the Hopes expect to be to the fore in the juvenile pacing filly ranks this season, they also have high expectations for the juvenile trotter Carlton, a colt by Dream Vacation which is the first foal from Another Love, a sister to Enghien.

Carlton won his only trial at Rangiora just before Christmas and is likely to debut in a $10,000 event at Addington next Friday.

Enghien is only a few weeks away from trialling but Monbet is still in the paddock and won’t race again until next season.

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