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Hope not phased by Enghien gallop at workouts

NZ HARNESS NEWS

It might have been inglorious, but Greg Hope was content to wave off a late gallop by the brilliant Enghien in an Ashburton workout in an almost nonchalant manner.

Hope, who trains in partnership with his wife Nina, has been there before. In fact, it was almost exactly 12 months ago when Enghien did exactly the same thing, galloping down the Ashburton straight when looking to really get into his work.

It’s a far-from-ideal trait, but one that the Hope combo and regular pilot Ricky May have started to get used to.

“He’s just not as fluent when he comes off the back of something and goes to sprint,” Hope said.

“It’s when he’s out and rolling and grinding that he’s at his best, so we won’t worry about it too much.”

And despite the misdemeanour, Hope declared his rising star as ready to return to the races at the Cheviot meeting at Addington on Sunday - but not in the race he was initially nominated for.

Enghien was initially down for the feature trot of the day, a 1950-metre mobile, but instead will be transferred into the 2600m stand.

“We’ve got Everybody Knows in the other race and it looks a good one for him, so this guy can go in the other race.

“He’ll be there to get a good run under his belt as we’ve got some big races coming up.”

The Four and Five-Year-Old Trotting Championships will be the main target early doors, although if Enghien comes up as well as what is expected he could find himself taking on the best of the best in races like the Fred Shaw Memorial New Zealand Trotting Championships.

Looking trim and fit, Enghien did have a good blow after his heat, which was won by the talented No Fears from the Patrick O’Reilly stable. But mere minutes later he was back to normal.

“He’s got an incredible heart this horse.

“They say really good horses have a resting heart-rate of about 26 and his is usually around 24.”

Up until the gallop, May said the dour trotter had felt good and handled his stand start well even accounting for the fact he was one of only two horses in the heat.

“He was good and trotted nicely for most of the way,” May said.

A three-time Group One winner, Enghien has won 13 of his 17 career starts picking up more than $300,000 along the way.

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