A New Year, A New Hope

By Joshua Smith, Harness News Desk

Young horseman Ben Hope will add another string to his bow at Rangiora on Saturday when he lines-up his first runner as a trainer.

Already a breeder, owner, and reinsman, Hope is looking forward to kicking off a new element to his career when Tedesco contests the Ashley Trot (2000m).

“It (training) is something that I have always wanted to get into,” Hope said.

“I am mainly going to be training the ones I own and there might be a couple of others that pop up along the way, but at this stage I am just looking to train one or two for the next few years anyway.”

Adding to the excitement of the occasion is the fact that Hope bred, owns, trains, and will drive the gelding, a feat rarely achieved.

While Hope said it is a nice feeling being so involved with the horse, there is also the added element of expectation.

“He is a horse that I have been involved with from the day he was born so it is really cool to have him in my name,” Hope said.

“But there is also that added pressure in the fact that you are putting all your time into the horse and if he doesn’t go well you have got no one else to blame.

“But it’s something I am looking forward to.”

Hope is heading into Saturday with high spirits after Tedesco’s runner-up trial behind last season’s star three-year-old Five Wise Men.

“He is in good form. I was really happy with his trial and I think he has improved a bit off it too. I am expecting a bold showing,” Hope said.

A keen rugby league fan, Tedesco sports the name of one of Hope’s favourite players and he has continued that theme with the names of his half-siblings – three-year-old gelding Latrell and yearling filly South Sydney.

“I am a South Sydney fan but Tedesco is a superstar player,” Hope said.

“I am definitely looking forward to Latrell, he is quite a nice maiden. He just might take a little longer than I initially thought. He trialled the other day and I have tipped him out again. But I am looking forward to when he hits the track.

“South Sydney is still very young. She has been broken in and we’ll take it step-by-step with her.

“With the others taking a bit of time we will give her all the time she needs.”

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