Enghien on the cusp of a return

NZ HARNESS NEWS

One of the forgotten stars of the open class trotting ranks is fast closing in on a return to the track.

And, if all goes well in the coming fortnight, the plan is to have Enghien back at the races very early in the New Year.

The dual Derby winner hasn’t been seen since finishing fifth in the 4YO Ruby at the Harness Jewels earlier in the season, but is primed for a return according to co-trainer, Greg Hope who trains with his wife, Nina.

“He’s coming up really nicely,” he said.

“We will look at a public run for him this week somewhere and then the plan is to head to Central Otago for the free for all at Omakau.”

The Hope stable have given the son of Love You a long and gradual build up towards a return to the track and he’s not prepared to go in all guns a blazing and automatically start throwing the rising star into the deep end.

That means that after Omakau the focus will shift to the Four and Five-Year-Old Trotting Championship at Addington and then what happens next will be up to how well the now five-year-old handles it all.

“We’re not going to put too much pressure on him, he’ll show us how he’s going.

“That race at Addington is the first main target though.”

Meanwhile, in other good news for fans of the Hope stable, Monbet returned to fast work this week and was looking big and strong.

“He’s just started to ramp things up again, but we won’t see him until probably February all going well.”

After dominating the trotting ranks for a couple of seasons with Monbet, Enghien and Quite A Moment, it’s been lean for the past 12 months.

But all of a sudden there’s a bit of light on the horizon for the Woodend Beach stable.

A G’s White Socks will join Enghien and a few other members of the stable in Omakau with about a dozen horses heading to Westport and then Reefton.

“We’re casting the net far and wide this year; there will be horses at Ashburton, Westport, Motukarara and then down in Central as well so it’s going to take a little bit of sorting out.”

The Hope stable is running at about a winner in every five starts with 22 wins on the board but with a strong summer racing team those numbers are set to increase.

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